Giovanni Trapattoni has named a youthful team for the friendly against Greece and that could make for an unusually open Ireland game in Dublin on Wednesday eveningOne of the biggest criticisms of Giovanni Trapattoni during his time in charge of Republic of Ireland has been his refusal to blood youngsters as he sticks rigidly to the tried and trusted players.
That accusation holds little weight anymore as the veteran Italian appears willing to mix things up in order to freshen the Irish squad for their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.
Trapattoni has already named the starting line-up for Wednesday night’s friendly against Greece in Dublin with the likes of James McClean, Robbie Brady, James McCarthy and Ciaran Clark in the team.
Republic of Ireland are narrow 8/5 (2.60) favourites with Bet365 to record a morale-boosting win in front of their own fans.
That is unlikely to be straightforward against a Greek side that has made a far more encouraging start to their qualifying campaign, picking up 10 points from their first four games.
Greece are 9/5 (2.80) to inflict a defeat on Trapattoni’s men, while the draw is available at 21/10 (3.10) with Bet365.
In the goalscorer markets, Shane Long is the favourite to score first as he is handed a rare start as a reward for his fine form with West Brom. Long is 6/1 (7.00) with Bet365 to open the scoring in this one.
But the value bet is to back his opposite number in the Greece side, Kostas Mitroglou.
The 24-year-old forward scored in Greece’s September victory over Lithuania and has netted three Champions League goals for Olympiakos already this season, including one against Arsenal.
Mitroglou is 11/1 (12.00) with Bet365 to score first here and that’s far too chunky in an even contest.
For the pick of the bets, it’s the goals market that holds the key.
Both these teams have a reputation for being tough to break down, but Ireland have recently conceded goals against Oman, Kazakhstan and Faroe Islands as well as being hit for six by Germany.
Greece also have reputation for keeping things tight in competitive games - two October qualifiers saw one goal.
But in friendlies it’s a different story as the 3-2 win against Norway last time out shows. Backing both teams to score has paid out in five of the last six Greece friendlies and that’s the way to go here too.
Both teams to score is the pick of the bets at even money (2.00) with Bet365.
|Both teams to score at evens (2.00) with Bet365
||Mitroglou first scorer at 11/1 (12.00) with Bet365
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on
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