Republic of Ireland v Czech Republic: defences to impress most
Republic of Ireland are 5/4 to overcome Czech Republic in their first fixture since sealing a return to tournament football after a decade in the doldrums with a 5-1 aggregate triumph over Estonia in the Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs…
At the start of Giovanni Trapattoni’s tenure, Republic of Ireland’s friendly record failed to rival their qualifying form, but it has improved quite a bit recently, lifting the Carling Nations Cup and beating 12/1 Euro 2012 contenders Italy 2-0.
In total, the Boys in Green have now gone 11 games without defeat since a 3-2 reverse at home to Uruguay last March, and given that they have only conceded twice in that period, it is no surprise that they are rated 5/4 favourites.
Czech Republic, who also booked a spot at Euro 2012 through the play-offs, haven’t fared too badly of late though, with Spain their sole conquerors across their last six outings.
They have shared the spoils in three of their last six matches outside of Prague, and on their last trip to Dublin in 2006, so the draw is arguably the most attractive option at 11/5.
Neither side has a reputation for being particularly exciting to watch, and with both having enjoyed a reasonable amount of defensive success – the hosts to a greater degree – under 2.5 goals are understandably well fancied at 4/7.
The Republic of Ireland clean sheet, a profitable punt in four of their last six encounters at the Aviva Stadium, is a more tastily priced option at 13/8, while both teams to score can be opposed at 4/5.
And though it isn’t what those planning to tune in on Sky Sports 1 want to hear, there is a fairly strong case for backing the 0-0 draw at 7/1 too.
Trapattoni’s men have been involved in three over the course of their last seven games, while Czech Republic have participated in two in the last nine months.