Euro 2012: Republic of Ireland v Russia Preview and Team News
Group favourites Russia face being left behind in the qualifying race when they clash with a confident Republic of Ireland side in Dublin on Friday.
Online bookmakers are offering free bets to new customers and special money back offers for the Euro 2012 Group B qualifier between Republic of Ireland and Russia at the Aviva Stadium at 7.45pm.
Ireland and Slovakia lead the group with six points from two games while Russia have mustered three points from their two opening fixtures.
Defeat in Dublin will leave the Russians a mountain to climb as they still have to travel away to Slovenia.
Dick Advocaat must draw on all his international experience to pull the Russians out of their gloomy form to defeat the Republic who have lost only once in the last fourteen outings in Dublin.
Confident Republic manager Giovanni Trapatonni has already announced an unchanged side for Friday’s match meaning Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle will continue their potent partnership upfront.
Fulham wide man Damien Duff had been hoping for a recall but a calf injury means he will miss out again.
Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady retains his place with Robbie Keane backing him to break his duck and score for the first time in 34 appearances.
Online bookmaker Unibet is offering 11/2 for Mcgeady to score at anytime in the match and we’d recommend the firm to anyone sharing Keane’s opinion.
Richard Dunne passed a fitness test on his knee and partners Sean St Ledger in central defence.
Industrious Derby midfielder Paul Green continues to keep Manchester United’s Darron Gibson out of the side while partner Glenn Whelan must avoid a booking or miss the game against Slovenia on Tuesday.
Advocaat is without Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko who is sidelined with an ankle injury, he will choose between Stuttgart’s Pavel Pogrebnyak or late addition Alexander Bukharov of Zenit St Petersburg.
Russia can call on a number of Premier League stars with Arsenal’s Andre Arshavin the main playmaker, Chelsea’s Yury Zhirkov at full back and Everton’s Diniyar Bilyaletdinov another member of the squad.
MATCH ODDS for the game:
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 17/10 with Ladbrokes
RUSSIA 15/8 with William Hill
DRAW 11/5 with Totesport.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND TEAM: Given, O’Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Kilbane, Lawrence, Whelan, Green, McGeady, Keane, Doyle.