Despite being the away side, the Republic of Ireland go into Saturday’s match with Macedonia as favourites to come away with three points.
After winning the reverse fixture 2-1, Giovanni Trapattoni’s men are priced at football betting odds of 11/10 to pull off an away win and leave Macedonia facing an uphill struggle for Euro 2012 qualification.
Ireland head into the game in high spirits after securing the Carling Nations Cup with a 1-0 win over Scotland, courtesy of a Robbie Keane goal.
The visitors will be hoping to carry that form into the rest of their qualifying campaign and keep in touch with current group leaders Slovakia.
With head-to-head records coming into play and Ireland having already lost to Slovakia, three points could prove vital for Ireland in their quest for automatic qualification.
Macedonia have won just one of their games during the campaign thus far, form that sees the home side priced as 23/10 outsiders to secure victory.
Those expecting Mirsad Jonuz’s men to frustrate Ireland can back the draw, which bwin also offers at 23/10 in its football betting markets for the match.
However, that seems unlikely as Trapattoni is able to call on some vastly experienced players. Among the key squad members are Keane, Reading forward Shane Long, Spartak Moscow’s Aiden McGeady and Premier League duo Shay Given and John O’Shea.
As such, with an away win appearing a formality, football betting enthusiasts could be tempted to give Macedonia a head start in order to improve their returns.
Giving the hosts a one-goal advantage sees the away win price move to 29/10, while a 2-0 head start means Ireland are priced at 8/1.
A £10 stake on the latter bet would return £90 if the Irish take all three points.
There are a number of other football bets offered by bwin for the match. Given the fact that Ireland have scored no more than two goals in any of the games so far in the qualifying stages, the 11/20 odds on under two goals in the game could prove an attractive option.
Anyone looking to go a step further and predict the exact number of goals can back exactly two at 5/2.
Bearing in mind that Macedonia have scored in each of their five qualifiers, a 2-1 win for Ireland could attract some of the sensible football betting.
At 17/2, a £10 bet on that result would offer returns of £95. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.