Republic Of Ireland v Georgia - Thursday 19:45, Sky Sports 2

The Republic of Ireland will know nothing other than a win at home to Georgia will set them on course for World Cup qualification. After drawing their opener with Serbia, they cannot allow any ground to slip between themselves and their rivals, particularly with Austria and Wales having won their opening fixtures. Fortunately for the Irish, Georgia have lost 14 of their last 18 matches on the road, and have conceded first in 13 of these games. Despite recording an impressive victory over Spain earlier this year, Georgia shouldn’t provide too much of a threat with only one player amongst their ranks, Tornike Okriashvili, who has scored more than five international goals.

Also in Ireland’s favour is their record at home. They’ve lost only once in their last 12 home matches, winning seven of these games. In contrast, they’ve only managed to win twice in their last 14 away matches. Many will point to the absence of the retired Robbie Keane as a cause for concern, but in their last 10 matches the Republic of Ireland have scored 14 goals by 10 different players, suggesting that there is no heavy reliance upon their record scorer as in years gone by.

Both sides have been involved in some high-scoring encounters of late, with Georgia even managing to score in each of their last six matches despite winning only once. There have been at least three goals in four of the Republic of Ireland’s last five matches, and in seven of Georgia’s last nine. With the Republic of Ireland clear favourites to win, we think the best way to get Martin O’Neill’s men on side is by backingIreland to win and both teams to score.

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Ireland To Win and Both Teams To Score - 1pt @ 5.0