Republic of Ireland v Germany - Thursday 19:45, Sky Sports 1

After a stuttering start to their Euro qualification campaign, Germany now top group C by two points from Poland with a couple of points further back to the Republic of Ireland. ROI have a strong home record in both Euro and World Cup qualifiers, only losing six of their 53 such matches since 1996. In the current Euro qualification campaign and in qualification for the 2014 World Cup their record is W4-D3-L2 with one of those defeats a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Germany. Indeed, in matches against sides that are ranked in the top-10 in the world according to our grading system (Germany are unsurprisingly the highest ranked side), ROI’s record since 2010 is W0-D3-L8 including W0-D1-L3 in competitive games (all three defeats by at least three goals).

Germany’s record in recent away qualifiers is imperious: since qualification for the 2010 World Cup they’re W17-D1-L1 with that defeat coming to Poland in the current Euro 2016 qualification campaign. Despite that dominance, they’ve only kept four clean sheets in the last 12 of these games. Against sides ranked between 30th and 60th in our gradings (we have ROI currently ranked 44th), Germany’s record in qualifiers since 2011 is W7-D1-L0, and they’ve won all three away match despite conceding, while seven of the eight games have had at least three goals. Indeed 11 of their last 13 away qualifiers had at least three goals, with six seeing at least four strikes.

ROI’s last three home qualifiers all had fewer than three goals with their other home game in this qualification period being a 7-0 win over Gibraltar. Since being beaten 6-1 by the Germans in 2012 Ireland have played six matches against teams we’ve had ranked in the top 10 and they’ve scored just three times, although none of the games were at home and four were only friendlies. However, it does raise doubts as to whether they’ll be able to find the net against Germany and slightly puts us off ‘Germany to win and both teams to score’, despite the visitor’s lack of clean sheets in recent times. Instead, since Germany have won six of their last eight away qualifiers by more than one goal, backing them at -1 on the Asian Handicap looks the best way to approach this.

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Recommended Bet: Germany -1 Asian Handicap - 1pt @ 13/15