The Republic of Ireland must win in Austria on Tuesday and then away to Germany next month in order to maintain their faint hopes of World Cup qualification after losing 2-1 at home to Sweden.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s flops are friendless in the market for their next clash, where they have drifted out to 14/5 to keep dreams of making it to Brazil alive with a win.
For 30 minutes against Sweden though, they were excellent, grabbing a deserved lead through Robbie Keane – the 60th goal of his international career.
But it’s the dismal 60 minutes that followed that punters seem to be concentrating on when planning a punting angle for Ireland’s trip to Austria.
Goals from Johan Elmander and Anders Svensson – plus an individual masterclass by Zlatan Ibrahimovic – left the hapless hosts with no response.
The subsequent market move behind Austria is hardly surprising.
They have been cut into 13/15 to impart yet more misery on Trapattoni’s team.
The pressure on Ireland’s head honcho is intensifying by the game.
In his five years in charge, Ireland have still yet to beat a higher-ranked opponent in a competitive tie.
He’s also failed to restore the confidence that was lost during a disastrous Euro 2012, where they joined Yugoslavia (1984), Denmark (2000), and Bulgaria (2004) as recording the worst performance (three defeats with a goal difference of -8) in the history of the European Championships.
Meanwhile, it was a torrid night for the home nations as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all suffered defeats.
The Tartan Army were brushed aside 2-0 by an impressive Belgium while Wales lost 2-1 in Macedonia, where Gareth Bale was an unused substitute.
Northern Ireland did put up a fight against Portugal, leading 2-1 at one stage before Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty were both sent off.
That triggered a sensational response from Cristiano Ronaldo, who banged in a match winning hat-trick as the visitors ran out 4-2 winners.