While England and Brazil attempt to add some panache to the international friendly fixture list, the Republic of Ireland and Poland will do little to challenge the detractors of these money-spinning, superfluous matches when the two sides square up at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland, quite frankly, are a shambles. Euro 2012 was an embarrassment, and things have failed to improve since.
Following a last-minute win against the mighty Kazakhstan, the Boys in Green suffered their heaviest ever competitive home defeat at the hands of Germany last October.
Somehow, Giovanni Trapattoni is still in a job despite that 6-1 drubbing, which provided yet more evidence of his archaic tactics and bizarre team selections.
While Ireland might be experiencing a period of transition, Trap is not the man to undertake the necessary changes.
His stubborn refusal to blood younger players like Ciaran Clark and James McCarthy over the last couple of years has exacerbated the situation.
As is customary with the Italian, he has released his starting XI days before the game and the inclusion of Derby County’s Conor Sammon is another head-scratcher.
Sammon is a workhorse, and anybody who has seen him play will tell you he’s selfless and causes problems harrying and hassling defenders. He can hold the ball up, too.
But an international-class forward? No chance.
His goal ratio stands at a goal every five-and-a-bit games. Since his move to Wigan in January 2011, Sammon has played 60 league games in English football and scored seven times.
Conversely, his likely opposite number in Dublin on Wednesday night, Robert Lewandowski, has netted 39 times in 67 appearances for German champions Borussia Dortmund.
Sammon’s inclusion highlights the tiny talent pool currently available to Trapattoni, which makes his treatment of Wes Hoolahan – who simply cannot buy a start under the Italian – all the more baffling.
The Norwich City playmaker is skilful, intelligent and creative. Or in other words, all the things which are so obviously missing in the middle of the park for the Irish.
It’s just a shame he doesn’t suit a rigid, unimaginative 4-4-2.
Nevertheless, the hosts are narrow favourites in bwin’s 3way market at odds of 31/20, with the draw priced at 9/4 and the Poles 17/10.
But in truth, Poland look like a beacon of hope for punters amid the gloom of the Aviva.
Waldermar Fornalik’s side may not have impressed many last summer when they co-hosted the European Championships, but they do possess quality.
Wojciech Szczesny, despite the odd hiccup for Arsenal this term, will enjoy a long international career, while the Dortmund trio of Lukasz Piszczek, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Lewandowski have all courted envious glances from top clubs around Europe.
So Poland already have better players than the Irish, but there’s more good news for them: Ireland’s form in home friendly internationals is wretched under Trapattoni, particularly since moving to the Aviva.
Ireland have won just once from seven home friendlies, losing four of them against Argentina, Norway, Uruguay and Greece.
In fact, the last time the two sides met was a friendly at Croke Park back in November 2008 and the Poles won 3-2 courtesy of a late goal from a 21-year-old Lewandowski.
My advice to existing bwin customers or anyone using their free £20 bet after signing up: back a similar outcome this evening at 17/10.