Republic Of Ireland take on Croatia in an interesting fixture on Wednesday night that will be screened on Sky Sports 3 and Republic Of Ireland will be looking to use this as another confidence booster with qualification for Euro 2012 a very realistic possibility, Republic Of Ireland are top of their qualifying group but only on goal difference, Russia and Slovakia also hold the same amount of points.
Republic Of Ireland have been hit with several withdrawals already this week as is usually the case for international friendlies, Keith Andrews and Keith Fahey are already casualties and they have been joined on the sidelines by James McCarthy and Damien Delaney. With Seamus Coleman, Kevin Kilbane, John O’Shea, Kevin Foley, Aiden McGeady, Liam Lawrence and Paul McShane all unavailable Republic Of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni has been left with just 21 players to work with which will severely limit his ability to experiment this week.
Croatia's qualification for Euro 2012 next summer is still far from assured, they currently sit 2nd in their qualifying group behind a resurgent Greece and they could use this match as a platform to improve their form in the final qualifying games over the next few months. In this match there should be many Premiership based players on show, Nikola Kalinic, Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka could all be involved as well as Rangers forward Nikica Jelavic. There could also be an appearance from the very highly rated Milan Badelj who looks likely to be plying his trade in England before long.
Republic Of Ireland are usually very reliable at home whilst Croatia have often shown their best form at home as well so with home advantage behind them Republic Of Ireland should prove a good bet for this match, especially with their odds drifting presumably because of their injury problems. There is always a chance this game will end all square though so for many punters who will want a more 'nailed on' bet the best play could be Republic Of Ireland in the draw no bet market. You will sacrifice some of your winnings but the chance of a loss are dramatically reduced.