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An all-Irish derby favours the experienced hosts in the first of a double header of home nations international matches, with Wales playing Scotland in the second on Wednesday


Amdist all the hype of this weekend's Champions League final, the Carling Nations Cup slips quietly under the radar. You may have already forgotten that two games took place in February as both Scotland and the Republic of Ireland racked up maximum points.

Tuesday night is the first in a double header of games on consecutive nights and it's an all-Irish affair. Northern Ireland travel across the border to Dublin to meet their southern cousins for the first time since 1999.

Boss Nigel Worthington has had to waste time talking about a policy put in place by the Northern Irish football association regarding tickets for the match. The IFA were charging fans £30 to take the bus to Dublin and they could only obtain tickets by travelling on the approved coaches.

Many fans have opted to boycott the match in the Irish capital rather than pay the £30 (now reduced to £22) which didn't include a match ticket.

Worthington also has problems on the pitch, naming an experimental team, and he told the press: "The two games at this time of the season is very awkward. The Republic have got qualifying games so they will have pretty much all their big players around the squad."

His Republic of Ireland counterpart Giovanni Trapattoni has been angered by some of his players not replying to text messages telling them they are named in the squad. The boys in green still have a strong group made up of Premier League experience and new boy Simon Cox from West Brom.

Betting Verdict
A routine home win has to be forecast at a short 1.53. Clean sheets haven't been a regularity under Il Trap for Ireland and you can back both teams to score @ 2.30. Hill's have an enhanced market on a goal to be scored from outside the area @ 3.0.

For value consider Ireland on the -1 handicap @ 2.45. In their last Nations Cup match against Wales they won 3-0, which was the same scoreline Northern Ireland lost against Scotland. A -2 handicap is a longer 5.50.

Match Odds: Republic of Ireland 1.53, Draw 3.80, Northern Ireland 6.50 (William Hill)


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