Republic of Ireland v Iceland Match Preview and Betting Tips

March 24, 2017

- Grant Whittington

Tuesday 28 March – Aviva Stadium – Friendly

The Republic of Ireland host Iceland at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, with Martin O’Neill’s side facing the team that knocked England out of Euro 2016. Although it’s a friendly, both sides will be keen to impress so a tight game could be on the cards.

Past Meetings

Iceland have never beaten the Republic of Ireland, with the Boys in Green winning four and drawing two of the six games played between the countries. However, the sides ranked 23rd and 24th in the world haven’t met since qualifying for the France 98 World Cup.

Team News

There are a number of notable absentees in the Irish squad, including Daryl Murphy, Shane Duffy, Wes Hoolahan, Ciaran Clark and Harry Arter. O’Neill will be hoping James McCarthy’s hamstring allows him to play, with the Everton midfielder providing plenty of quality in the middle of the park.

Iceland will be looking to star man Gylfi Sigurdsson to provide their creative spark, with the Swansea forward enjoying an impressive season so far despite his club’s struggles in the Premier League. With eight goals and 11 assists so far in the league, he needs to step up for the visitors on Tuesday.

Republic of Ireland v Iceland Preview and Predictions

After a tough World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday night, you could be forgiven for thinking the Republic of Ireland might take their foot off the gas when it comes to this friendly just a few days later. However, with tough taskmaster O’Neill and his equally demanding assistant Roy Keane around, there’s little chance of that happening.

The Boys in Green have been in good form since narrowly losing to hosts France in the last 16 of Euro 2016, making a good start to their bid to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This makes them favourites in the betting to see off Iceland at the Aviva Stadium, with odds of 6/5 available for an Irish win.

Iceland have been getting used to life without former joint boss Lars Lagerbäck, who helped lead them to that memorable performance in France last summer. Now in sole charge, Heimir Hallgrímsson has mainly kept things the way they were, and can be backed at 5/2 to guide his team to victory on Tuesday. If your predictions involve a Viking Thunderclap on the way to the visitors claiming a draw, have a punt on honours even at 11/5.

Recommended Bets

The 0-0 draw at 6/1

Although a bit pessimistic, the Republic of Ireland have a good defensive record in recent years, and if Gylfi Sigurdsson doesn’t fire Iceland might struggle to find the back of the net.

Four or more goals at 19/5

On the other hand, the shackles could be off after the Republic’s game against Wales and Iceland’s trip to Kosovo in World Cup qualifying.

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