THE first Euro 2016 play-off tie summed up the occasion in one word – UNDERS.

Norway v Hungary screamed under 2.5 goals and that's exactly how it turned out as the home crashed to a 1-0 defeat after a game they dominated.

Unders could be a recurring theme for the four ties (eight games) and I tell you what – Martin O'Neill would give up the last pint of Guinness in Dublin for a 0-0 draw in Zenica on Friday night.

O'Neill's squad has been ravaged by injury with striker Shane Long the latest to call off. That's a blow as the matchwinner against Germany has been brilliant for his country recently. He's likely to be replaced by Daryl Murphy who hit a hat-trick for Ipswich last weekend but hasn't scored for his country.

Keepers Kieren Westwood, Shay Given and Rob Elliot are also out so Darren Randolph will start for the third game running.

John O'Shea is suspended and fellow defender David Meyler is out with a knee injury but Alan Judge is available again after a hamstring problem.

There have been two Irelands in the Euro 2016 qualifiers but which one will turn up for the play-offs? O'Neill's men took four points off world champions Germany but one from two meetings with Scotland.

Now they head for Bosnia aiming to join England, Wales and Northern Ireland and with their injury problems I'm backing the Bosnians to qualify at 4-5 with bet365 and Coral.

After a slow start to their Group B they were impressive and O'Neill has every right to panic when he looks at the opposition team sheet and sees the name of Miralem Pjanic.

The Roma midfielder is a class act and deadball delight. He and Serie A team-mate have been in sparkling form and if O'Neill finds a way to stop them he could be halfway to Paris-dise.

Bosnia are 1-1 favourites with Coral and William Hill and will probably have to take a lead to Dublin to qualify. A draw is 12-5 at McBookie and the Irish are as big as 18-5 with the Scots firm to win on the night and 6-5 at Paddy Power to qualify.

Bosnia conceded 12 goals in qualifying, more than any team in the play-offs, and that will convince O'Neill his men can score and are 7-10 at Coral to do so.

O'Neill will try to keep it tight and the longer it stays 0-0 the happier he'll be away. Under 2.5 goals again is possible and pays 8-15 at Coral.

It could take the brilliance of Pjanic to find a way through. He has scored four in his last six for Roma and is 4-1 at sportingbet to net while former Man City star Dzeko has netted in his last two internationals. He is 17-10 at McBookie to do so again.

Recommended Bets


(1-1, Coral, William Hill)

Bosnia to qualify

(4-5, Coral)

Dzeko to score

(17-10, McBookie, BetVictor)

  1. alfie 7 years ago


  2. Alves 7 years ago

    I’ve got Dzeko anytime 1st up up in a treble that pays over 9/1, other 2 selections are on Saturday with BTTS at Sweden v Denmark and Fylde HT/FT. Dzeko will also be on penalties and every chance Bosnia will get one

  3. 7 years ago

    Will rule with my heart and go against all tips! Believe o Neil will pull something out of the bag and get us a draw to take us back to Dublin.really believe in this team, don’t think we will go down without a fight! Ireland double chance is what I will b on!

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      keith madden, if Ireland can get a draw with all of their injuries it will be a good achievement.
      Bosnia aren’t great but Pjanic and Dzeko are 2 who have to be watched.

  4. radu 7 years ago

    Bosnia – Ireland
    – Ireland to score @ 7/10
    – Draw or Ireland @ 9/10
    – Ireland to 1/1

    • radu 7 years ago

      To qualify

  5. double carpet 7 years ago

    Mr f
    Unfortunately i dont think Ireland are capable of holding out for a 0-0 and i think O Neill knows this and will try to set out to try and grab a goal to take back to the aviva. Injuries have hit us badly so id say our best chance of scoring will be from a set piece with the Bosnian defence not exactly water tight. So it could be an open enough game and im going btts.
    C’mon Ireland !!!

    • double carpet 7 years ago

      Winner !!

  6. 7 years ago

    DC, maybe your right worth a punt, all will tell from first 25 mins and way we set up, sickened I will miss it due to training, record it I will though.

  7. 7 years ago

    Radu, all things I hope will happen!

  8. colin72blue 7 years ago

    i fancy 0-0 in this game will be very edgy & both teams won’t want to concede

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      Colin72blue, 0-0 is possible and as I say O’Neill would bite your hand off for it.
      I just think their injuries are so serious it gives Bosnia the advantage.

  9. michael btts@win 7 years ago

    Well I think we’ve called this one,a tight , 9 goal open thriller head says Bosnia heart is Ireland 0 _ 0 bore draw . who said win draw win market was difficult.

  10. 7 years ago

    Irish spirit came true!

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      keith madden, it was a great result – not sure how they played second half because we couldn’t see it and started watching the England game instead.

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