Euro 2016 play-offs: Ireland can capitalise on Bosnia away goal
Holly Thackeray | November 15, 2015
Republic of Ireland v Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Euro 2016 play-offs
- Monday, November 16th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Can Ireland emerge victorious on the Emerald Isle?
Euro 2016 play-off opponents the Republic of Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina return for the second leg of their duel, after playing out a 1-1 draw in the mists of Bilino Polje. The Irish nabbed an away goal on the road, and are now 4/7 favourites with Coral to qualify for the France finals.
Playing in front of passionate home support on the Emerald Isle certainly gives the boisterous Boys in Green an edge, with a 6/5 price for boss Martin O’Neill to oversee an Aviva Stadium victory in 90 minutes.
The Republic are well poised to pounce having recorded a goal in Bosnia, but O’Neill was skeptical of it’s benefits ahead of the encounter. Speaking recently, the former Celtic coach said: “I don’t think the advantage is with us. Bosnia are capable of scoring a goal.
“We got an away goal which helps, but that can be wiped out in a minute,” added the former midfielder.
Ireland do, though, boast a slight historical advantage, having beaten the Golden Lilies on their own patch before, back in 2012.
Irish injury boost
Currently, the Republic’s past record at the Euros reads poorly, with the Emerald Isle outfit having qualified for the finals just twice, but never making it past the group stage. Yet, should they get the opportunity to play in France, there is real hope surrounding this spirited bunch.
The Boys in Green will need their main men to be fit, however, and have received a fitness boost ahead of Monday’s melee. Southampton striker Shane Long, who grabbed the winner last time the Golden Lilies were guests, is still in contention for a spot, and is 6/4 to score again anytime if given the nod.
While, Stoke City’s Jon Walters (also 6/4 in the anytime market) and Sunderland centre back John O’Shea are expected to be back in the starting XI.
Former Manchester United and current Norwich City winger Robbie Brady was the star of the last scuffle, striking through the fog to grab a vital goal for his country, and is 7/1 to open scoring again.
Dangerous Dzeko lurking
It was Manchester City-owned marksman Edin Dzeko who nullified Brady’s goal with an equaliser, and the on-loan Roma frontman will be the main danger to watch out for again. Having hit two in his last two internationals, the striker is a fine price of 7/4 to poach anytime again.
Should punters not fancy prolific Dzeko to repeat his heroics, fellow Giallorossi threat Miralem Pjanic can be backed at a tempting 10/3, while Hertha Berlin hitman Vedad Ibisevic is an equally enticing 15/8 in the same market.
With so much at stake, and attacking intent on both sides, plumping for the Republic of Ireland at 5/1 to win with both teams to score could prove a prudent punt.
Read our other Euro 2016 play-off previews in features in our cracking archive