Both of these sides are in with a great chance of qualifying for next year’s World Cup. When they played in an early qualifier, Ireland managed to get a draw. This time around, the Irish will be hoping to go one better and gain all three points.
Republic of Ireland and Serbia reached the mid-point of qualifying joint on points at the top of group D, thus both will know that a win here will put them in pole position for the first place qualifying spot. Austria and Wales have been largely disappointing in this group, so it will be no surprise if the winners of Group D came out of this match in Dublin.
Republic of Ireland form
Martin O’Neill’s side are unbeaten in the group thius far and will fancy their chances of keeping it that way in the fortress that is the Aviva Stadium. They have drawn three of their group games, so doubts still remain about their capability of closing down tight games.
Two draws in their last two important games against Wales and Austria would suggest that a share of the spoils could be the most likely outcome in this game. Ireland aren’t helped by the fact many of their star names are not starting for their clubs; for instance, Shane Long can’t buy a goal at Southampton.
Republic of Ireland
Best Odd of: 4/7 at Betfair
Best Odd of: 10/11 at Betfair
Best Odd of: 2 at Betfair
Serbia are also after drawing against Wales, but prior to that, they picked up all three points against Georgia and Austria. It is admirable ow strong a team they have become in recent seasons, but their Achilles’ heel has always been their form away from home. They lost against Ukraine in a recent friendly and another performance like that will surely see them lose to an Irish team, whose form at home has been stellar.
Seamus Coleman’s horrendous injury, suffered during that tight Wales game, will see him sit out most of Ireland’s crucial qualifying games. It is also interesting to note that Ireland may be without Jon Walters, who is suffering with a back problem. Thus, Daryl Murphy may lead the line. Murphy is a good footballer, but he is not top class and may struggle against Serbia’s better players. Robbie Brady has had an excellent season for Burnley thus far, so his battle with Matic is an interesting sub-plot.
These two teams are incredibly similar. They both are well set-up and don’t give away many goals. Both sides hold a massive threat on the break and know how to score goals. If Ireland can keep it tight in defense, with Ciaran Clark and Shane Duffy the likely starters, then they can come away with all three points.
However, our money is going on a draw. The Republic of Ireland and Serbia are just too closely matched to pick a viable winner, so a point a-piece seems the most likely scenario to us. This is priced around 11/4 will all bookmakers. Best of luck!