The Aviva Stadium hosts the second meeting of Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina in 72 hours this Monday evening as both of these sides aim to book their places at the 2016 European Championships to be held in France next summer. The first leg clash between the teams saw two goals, with both sides grabbing a goal apiece in a foggy second 45 minutes in Zenica, as the teams shared the spoils and left the Irish with a slight advantage on aggregate going into this second leg of the tie. Can they use this advantage and ensure their passage to their second successive European Championships and their third ever?
We preview this second leg clash with online sportsbook 10Bet.com and provide our top Ireland v Bosnia Euro 2016 pick.
To Qualify for Euro 2016:
Ireland to qualify – 1.54
Bosnia to qualify – 2.45
That away goal on Friday certainly has seen the odds for qualification slide towards the Irish team as they have moved from even money outsiders to the 1.54 favourites at the halfway stage of the tie, while Bosnia have gone from 1.80 favourites to the 2.45 outsiders.
Second Leg Match Odds:
Republic of Ireland victory – 2.50
Draw – 3.10
Bosnia Herzegovina victory – 3.05
The First Leg:
Although this second meeting of the Irish and Bosnian sides since 2012 saw a worse result than the 1-0 home win in Dublin three and a half years ago as the fact that the teams shared the spoils in this competitive fixture in the former Yugoslav nation the overall result is far better for the home team tonight as they enter this second leg of this tie. The away goal netted eight minutes from time in the doom and gloom sees Martin O’Neill’s side with the advantage and they know that victory or a goalless draw would see them book their flights to France for next summer.
Neither of these sides were particularly creative on Friday evening in Bosnia but it was the hosts in the first leg that bossed the side, with right sided midfielder Edin Visca having free run of the Stadion Bilino Polje, but the Irish defended well and sat on top of the majority of the creative players in the home side to leave chances few and far between. There were more chances in the second half and 82 minutes had been played before the away side took a surprising lead – although many in stands could not see the 14 yard striker from Norwich City midfielder Robbie Brady due to the fog – but it did not last long as Roma front man Edin Dzeko levelled the game three minutes later to see a 1-1 draw.
The Second Leg:
The Irish will welcome back the suspended duo of John O’Shea and Jon Walters while the scorer of the last minute leveller against Poland and the winner against Germany in the group stage Shane Long makes his return from injury after sitting out the first leg. All of these three experienced and exciting players will see the home side boosted for this clash and with it being more than two years since they were beaten on home soil in a competitive match they will believe that they can secure their passage to France.
The Irish did win three and draw two of their five home games in their Group D campaign, including recording that history 1-0 defeat of world champions Germany, and with Bosnia having lost to Israel and Belgium as well as needing to come from behind to see of Cyprus and book their place in this Play Off stage the home side will be boosted by the concession of eight goals on their travels in the group stages.
Bosnia welcome back Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic for this match after he was suspended for the first leg and while Mensur Mujdza is doubtful for the match after limping off in Zenica they are at full strength for this tie. The question is, though, will the passionate Irish fans and the boost gained from the trio of returning players be too much for a Bosnian side who could not triumph in their homeland?
With Ireland being a tight, compact and combative side, especially on home soil, this match will not be an easy one for the team visiting Dublin this Monday night. Ireland have shut out Gibraltar, Georgia and Germany at the Aviva Stadium during this campaign, as well as England in a friendly match, while they have not conceded more than a single goal in eight games and 18 months on home soil. With the team getting a massive boost from their returning trio, especially Shane Long, we can certainly see them getting something from this game and living up to their favourites billing to qualify for Euro 2016. We are backing them to do so in front of what is sure to be a capacity crowd.
Our top Ireland v Bosnia tip is back Ireland Draw No Bet @ 1.71 in the 10Bet Sportsbook!