With their all-time record goalscorer Robbie Keane nursing a hamstring injury, Ireland might have to look elsewhere for goals in their friendly match with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday.
But while Keane’s possible absence would clearly be considered a blow, Irish fans might take comfort from the fact that their side have found the net in five of the last seven games that Keane has played, despite their hero only scoring in one them.
Keane is still the favourite with bwin to notch first at 5/1 and at anytime at 7/5, but doubts over his fitness could deter some from backing the LA Galaxy veteran.
Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Simon Cox and Jonathan Walters are the foursome who will battle it out to lead the line on Saturday should Keane not make it.
Fresh from scoring one of the goals that clinched the title just a few short weeks ago, Dzeko will surely be generating a lot of interest at 6/1 to score first, 17/10 to score at anytime and 50/1 to score a hat trick.
Stoke forward Walters scored twice on the final day of the season as the Potters relegated Bolton, and he also notched the crucial second goal in Ireland’s 4-0 play-off first leg win over Estonia in Tallinn. He is 6/1 to open the scoring at the Aviva Stadium, and 17/10 to score at any time.
Doyle’s last goal for his country came in October’s 2-0 win in Andorra, and he hasn’t found the net for his club side Wolves since February 25th. Nevertheless, he is still available at 17/10 to return to scoring ways against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday.
Shane Long has made only two starts for his country since August, both in friendlies, and has found the net in neither of them, so odds of 6/1 on him to score first or 17/10 for him to score at anytime might not do much business, although he did score for West Brom against Arsenal in the final match of the season.
Simon Cox replaced Shane Long after 71 minutes of Ireland’s last match against the Czech Republic and got on the scoresheet with four minutes remaining, but he failed to score a single goal in the Premier League for West Brom last season and so he hardly justifies odds of 3/2 to score at anytime.
Elsewhere in the team, young Sunderland prodigy James McClean could do decent business at 4/1 in the anytime market, while veterans Damian Duff and Keith Andrews, at 3/1 and 4/1 respectively in the anytime market, could see a bit of action.
For Bosnia the stand-out marksmen is Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko. Fresh from scoring one of the goals that clinched the Premier League title just a few short weeks ago, he will surely be generating a lot of interest at 6/1 to score first, 17/10 to score at anytime and 50/1 to score a hat trick.
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Recommended bet: Dzeko to score at any time @ 17/10
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