Having suffered a record 6-1 home defeat to Germany, Republic of Ireland face an unenviable task on Tuesday to resurrect their World Cup 2014 qualification bid.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s side will head east for what is assumed to be a comfortable pick-me-up trip to the Faroe Islands, but that assumption is deceptive and the hosts could prove cracking value to deliver a win that would, in all likelihood, end the Italian’s time in charge.
The Faroe Islands have won two and drawn two of their last nine home matches, making 11/1 surprisingly long odds for a home triumph, while 17/4 for a draw looks similarly appealing.
A cursory glance at the islanders’ last two home results – a 1-0 defeat to Italy and a 2-1 loss at home to Sweden on Friday in which they took the lead in the second half – makes you fear for an Irish eleven with bruised confidence.
Trapattoni’s men were all at sea against Germany as they struggle to replace the loss of experienced hands like Damien Duff and Shay Given (retired) plus Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne (injured).
Ireland have been made 1/4 favourites for Tuesday’s crunch tie, probably as a result of their impressive record of being unbeaten for five years on the road in qualifying matches.
However, their performances so far in this campaign (scraping a win with stoppage-time heroics in Kazakhstan before their humbling by Germany) do not inspire the slightest confidence and that price is definitely best avoided.
New customers registering with bwin can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on Faroe Islands to beat Ireland would return an impressive £240 if successful.
But for punters who believe Ireland will manage to regain their composure and win, the handicap betting market is still a great option.
Only Serbia and France have won by more than a two-goal margin in the Faroe Islands over the last six years, so Ireland to win by one goal at evens or two goals at 27/10 are both worthy of consideration.