THE Carling Nations Cup (remember that) resumes with an all-Ireland clash.

It's the Republic v Northern Ireland in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and this should be a “home” win.

There's a trophy at the end of it but these games are not much bigger than friendlies and the match has come at the worst possible time for players feeling the strain and craving a summer holiday.

The Republic beat Wales 3-0 in their opener while Northern Ireland crashed 3-0 to Scotland and that suggests a Republic success at a biggest 8-13 with William Hill.

However, the Republic have injury problems with the likes of Kevin Doyle, Damien Duff, Caleb Folan and Ciaran Clark ruled out.

Shane Long, John O'Shea, Darron Gibson, Kevin Kilbane and Aiden McGeady will miss the Carling Cup matches due to club commitments while Celtic striker Anthony Stokes has pulled out saying he's tired.

Northern Ireland don't have too many problems but I fancy the Republic to edge it with 1-0 a distinct possibility at 5-1 with totesport.

The Republic are 11-8 with Paddy Power and Betfred to win to nil while under three goals is 8-11 at Paddy Power.

It's difficult pinpointing a first scorer with so many players so try Robbie Keane at 9-2 with Coral.

Keane will be out to impress suitors as he hunts for a new club and will be out to lead the line with conviction.



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