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Republic of Ireland v Armenia: Irish to get result needed for playoff spot

Posted 10th October 2011

If the Republic of Ireland can avoid defeat on Tuesday night they will have secured a playoff spot for Euro 2012. They take on Armenia on Tuesday night at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, with the visitors needing a win to reach the playoffs. The Irish are favourites at 7/10 with Unibet while an Armenian victory is 39/10 and a draw offered at 14/5.

With a 2-0 win away at Andorra on Friday night, Ireland have put themselves in a great position to claim a playoff berth. Giovanni Trapattoni’s side have now gone an amazing eight games without conceding a goal in recent matches and they will be hoping to keep another on Tuesday. It won’t be easy, however, as Armenia are currently the form team of Group B and they have scored 11 goals in their last three qualifying matches. Their two most recent wins were impressive performances where they defeated Slovakia 4-0 away last month and then Macedonia 4-1 last Friday.

Ireland’s goals against Andorra were their first in four matches and for Tuesday’s game they may have to do without captain Robbie Keane. There is some sound striking talent waiting in the wings though to come into the side and it will likely be Shane Long who partners Kevin Doyle upfront. Richard Dunne will also come back into the side after missing the Andorra game through suspension.

Trapattoni will set his team in the usual rigid formation and it does have its positives and negatives. Ireland are an organised outfit and strong at the back, but in the middle of the park it is where they really struggle. Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews do not provide enough creativity for the side and the forwards can be isolated upfront and don’t get enough supply of the ball. If Ireland are to win, they must keep it tight against Armenia because they the home side will not score too many goals.

Armenia will come to Dublin high on confidence after their recent performances and they look like a serious threat. Ireland do, however, have enough experience and quality in their side to get the result they need. Armenia will cause trouble and will likely score but Ireland should be able to secure the draw that would put them in the playoffs. Trapattoni will set out his side not to lose and it should get the job done.

Tip #1: Back the draw at 14/5 with Unibet.

Tip #2: Back 1-1 in the correct score market at 24/5 with Unibet with Unibet.