Slovakia vs Republic of Ireland | Thursday 8th October 2020, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Few followers of the Republic of Ireland will believe that this will be a free-scoring encounter in Bratislava on Thursday. There have only been 16 goals scored in Ireland’s last 13 competitive matches, with Under 2.5 Goals landing in every encounter. Given that Ireland have faced Gibraltar in two of those games, that is some achievement!
Slovakia matches have been a fair bit more entertaining than Ireland’s, with 31 goals scored in their last 11 games. However, I feel like those numbers are skewed by a couple of mismatches, with a 5-1 victory over Azerbaijan and two matches against Croatia in which they scored one and conceded seven.
I did consider backing Under 1.5 Goals here but am not sure 17/10 is big enough when 6/1 on No Goalscorer is available. In a game like this, I would rather be on the bigger price as I think any goal before injury time would lead to unnecessary anxiety!
In the 13 games sample I am referring to Ireland have managed a few late equalisers. They have drawn four of those matches 1-1, with an equaliser in the final five minutes in each of them.
With that in mind and given the importance of this encounter, there are two bets that I like the look of. A 1-1 scoreline is 5/1 with Bet365. That may seem a little skinny and I can see why some may prefer either 0-0 at 6/1 or 1-0 Slovakia at the same price but I don’t trust Slovakia to keep a clean sheet if Ireland put them under any kind of pressure.
Alongside this, Shane Duffy at 20/1 with Betway to be the Last Goalscorer also gets my vote. Duffy has scored the final goal in two of Ireland’s last 10 matches and can surely act as an auxiliary striker if the visitors are desperate for a goal. The Celtic loanee has two goals in five appearances for his club side and will be a threat from any set piece Ireland get. In a likely low-scoring game, I think this is great value.