Republic of Ireland v Serbia betting odds and tips

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The Republic of Ireland failed to get close to qualification for the 2014 World Cup, with Giovanni Trapattoni paying the price for this particular failure, although a bright new dawn has been promised by Martin O’Neill.

Having recruited Roy Keane as his number two, we can be sure that Ireland will be motivated when tackling their Euro 2016 qualifying matches, with William Hill free bet offering odds of 13/8 that they warm up in Dublin by beating Serbia this week.

Andy Reid, Rob Elliot and Kevin Doyle have been the notable withdrawals from the home team’s squad, with Shane Long and Jon Walters among the strikers having been called up for the friendly at the Aviva Stadium.

Everton trio Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady have also been selected, with the former having a spectacular season for the Toffees and he looks an outstanding price at 25/1 to score first against a Serbia side who also missed out on the 2014 World Cup.

The Serbs finished ahead of Scotland in Group A although Belgium ran away with the section with Croatia taking the runner-up spot, with Ljubinko Drulović currently in caretaker charge of the national side and hoping to run the rule over several young players in the squad.

There aren’t too many household names in the team, although Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will captain his team, while club team-mate Nemanja Matic will surely start adding to just nine caps that have been earned during his career to date.

Serbia are a 21/10 chance with Coral to win this game which isn’t a bad price considering the visitors have gone unbeaten in five games which includes a 3-0 win away to Wales and a 5-1 crushing of Macedonia in their final World Cup qualifier.

The draw is priced at 23/10 and the two teams are likely to be evenly-matched with a 1-1 correct scoreline on offer at 6/1 and that sort of result would please both managers who are looking to have their squads bang on for the start of the Euro 2016 qualifying matches.

Ireland will be pitted against Scotland in their group, with Germany and Poland also set to provide stiff opposition.

“It’s a difficult group but an exciting one, nevertheless,” said Republic boss Martin O’Neill.

“Germany are the outstanding team in the group but there’s plenty to fight for. Let’s be positive and let’s go for it.

“With the exception of Germany, it looks like a group where lots of teams will be able to take points off each other and I think it will be tight right until the end.”

“To reach France, especially out of this group, would be the utopia. It would be amazing but we have a lot of fighting to do between now and then.”

PREDICTION: Republic of Ireland 1 Serbia 1