After exhibiting the same old weaknesses against Kazakhstan, The Boys in Green have a chance to lift the spirits in tonight's friendly. Al Hain-Cole is not getting his hopes upAfter a disastrous Euro 2012 campaign, those Irish fans hoping for a new start under Giovanni Trapattoni were left slightly underwhelmed after they opened their World Cup qualification campaign with a last-gasp victory against lowly Kazakhstan.
Despite clamour for some fresh faces, the veteran Italian coach stuck with the same spine of players that secured their place in Ukraine and Poland, but he has the chance to introduce some youngsters during tonight's friendly against Oman - a game that you can watch exclusively live with Livesport.tv, if you are in the UK, Northern Ireland or Australia.
The Boys in Green are clear 3/10 (1.30) favourites with Paddy Power to lift the spirits with a morale-boosting win at Craven Cottage.
Opponents Oman are without a win in three games in their World Cup qualification group, and are a serious long shot at 8/1 (9.00) to come out on top here.
The Red Warriors have drawn four of their last five, so another stalemate may not be out of the question tonight, at odds of 9/2 (5.50).
Former Rangers boss Paul Le Guen has actually surpassed all previous Omani achievements just by reaching the fourth round of Asian World Cup qualifying, and he has done this by making them a difficult nut to crack.
Le Guen's men have conceded just 10 goals in 11 games so far this campaign, which is reminiscent of Ireland's defensive record of eight in 12 that took them to this summer's European Championships under Trapattoni's guidance.
With two conservative sides coming up against each other, it would be a surprise if we saw a goal-fest this evening, so odds of 5/4 (2.25) on under 2.5 goals going in are surely too good to miss.
That bet would have paid out in the Republic's last six consecutive friendly ties, where Trapattoni rarely throws caution to the wind.
Five players returned to their clubs following the win over Kazakhstan, including Jonathan Walters and captain Robbie Keane meaning some fresh faces may line up at Craven Cottage.
With those two out of the way, Irish fans will have the chance to see Shane Long start his first game for the national team in eight games.
The West Brom striker has rarely disappointed in the green shirt, and is good value at 4/1 (5.00) to open the scoring here.
You can watch the game exclusively live through Livesport.tv, for more information click here.
|Under 2.5 goals at 5/4 (2.25) with Paddy Power
||Shane Long to score first at 4/1 (5.00) with Paddy Power
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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