This crucial Euro 2016 encounter sees Scotland and Ireland go head-to-head at Celtic Park
Scotland displayed an excellent performance against world champions Germany in their opening match, however no points were gained and Strachan’s men had to wait for their following two matches to win the four points that they possess so far in their qualifying campaign.
A decent home draw against Georgia in their opening game was followed by a hard-fought draw with a Poland side which had previously conquered Germany 2-0 and Strachan’s side will be eager to clinch the points at their temporary Celtic Park home on Friday evening.
Ireland have boasted an excellent opening to their qualifying campaign, beating Gibraltar and Georgia and holding Germany to a shock draw in their last outing. Taking a point against the world champions will boost the confidence of the side somewhat and they will be in very high spirits coming into this encounter.
Scotland start this match as favourites at 7/5 with William Hill, a draw up for grabs at 9/4 and an Ireland victory 5/2, however both sides are extremely capable of winning maximum points and as such we’re a bit hesitant about backing a particular outcome. This game will be extremely close and this is reflected across the bookies so we’ll be looking at other markets to find some value.
The most obvious of these is Both Teams to Score, Betfair offering the best price of 6/5 that this proves to be the case on Friday. Strachan has turned the Scotland side into an attacking force after years of dull defensive football under previous manager Craig Levein and as such the side are extremely capable of getting past the visitors’ defence.
Ireland aren’t to be underestimated however and are more than capable of getting themselves onto the scoresheet so it would hardly be a surprise to see them feature on Friday.
While we’re talking about scoring, Coral’s odds of 13/8 for there to be in excess of 2.5 goals holds some good value, the anytime goalscorer market offering some decent options. Robbie Keane is still setting the standard in Ireland and looks good to add to the goal-tally at 31/10 with Ladbrokes, Steven Naismith also looking backable at 13/5 to score again following his exploits against Poland in his last outing.
Undoubtedly the best bet is both teams scoring. The group is certainly proving to be a fascinating one and Germany aren’t having things all their own way as was expected. Expect some drama and excitement at Celtic Park on Friday.
Our betting tips
Both teams scoring – Betfair 6/5