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Republic of Ireland v Serbia: Visitors pose threat in Dublin

| 05.03.2014

Both the Republic of Ireland and Serbia will be hoping for positive results under new management ahead of their respective Euro 2016 qualifying campaigns but it’s the visitors to Dublin who make the most appeal in this friendly encounter.

The injury-hit Irish are 7/5 to secure victory, with Serbia available at a tempting 2/1 and the draw priced at 11/5.

The pair’s previous two meetings have resulted in draws but with Martin O’Neill’s boys in green beset by injuries and withdrawals they could come unstuck against a respectable Serbian outfit.

Their new man at the helm is Ljubinko Drulovic, who takes temporary charge following Sinisa Mihajlovic’s resignation having previously guided Serbia’s U19 side to victory in the 2013 European Championships.

That pedigree should stand Drulovic in good stead and he’ll be keen to restore some national pride after his country failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Undefeated in their last five matches, Serbia recorded a 1-1 draw in Russia on their last outing and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they’ll be a handful for O’Neill’s depleted side.

With QPR defender Richard Dunne being rested by his club, the likes of Twente’s Dusan Tadic could take advantage of any weaknesses in the Republic’s backline.

The striker has netted 11 goals in 25 league matches in Holland’s Eredivisie so far this season and is available at 9/1 to open proceedings at the Aviva Stadium.

Meanwhile, Ireland will be without Dunne’s clubmate Kevin Doyle and Nottingham Forest’s Andy Reid for this fixture.

That potentially leaves Celtic man Anthony Stokes with the unenviable task of trying to breach a defence that includes experienced Premier League duo Branislav Ivanonic and Aleksander Kolarov.

Stokes is 6/1 to score first and in doing so break his international duck at the ninth attempt with Hull City’s in-form hitman Shane Long 11/2 to beat his teammate to the punch and net for the second time in his last three games for Ireland.

However, the 6/5 on Serbia to score the last goal could represent the best bet of the night. That’s a feat the visitors have managed in four of their last five internationals and their greater potency on paper could be telling as the game nears its conclusion.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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William Geldart

William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.