Ireland vs GermanyThe Republic of Ireland arrive here in great form having won their last two games and having avoided defeat in their last six matches – winning three and drawing three. The last two matches saw a 1-0 win at home against Georgia, and before that a 4-0 win away at Gibraltar. Manager Martin O’Neill will be hoping that having home advantage at The Aviva Stadium will help his team cause an upset against the group leaders.
Germany coach Joachim Low has an embarrassment of riches to choose from when selecting his starting line up. His team are top of the group now, but only by one point and will be looking to secure their qualification at the earliest opportunity. Thomas Muller looks certain to start and may be a good bet for first goalscorer, but Low can choose from the likes of Kruse, Reus, Gotze, Ozil, Volland, Schurrle, and Podolski to support in attack. Defensively they seem efficient, despite conceding two goals in their 3-2 away victory in Scotland last time out.
Looking through the team sheet I struggle to see how the Republic of Ireland will break down the German defence. Martin O’Neill has Robbie Keane, Shane Long, Jon Walters and Anthony Stokes as his main striking options and I do not believe they have the firepower to cause Germany many problems. I think Germany will settle down to play possession based football and nullify the game before striking on the break. I am tempted by backing Germany to win to nil – without conceding, but this is always a dangerous bet. I prefer the chances of Germany overcoming a goal handicap and winning by two or more goals at similar odds. If Germany score first which I fancy them to do, then this will look a great bet as Ireland will have to commit men forward in search of an equaliser and will be vulnerable defensively.
Germany -1 @ 2.20