Serbia VS Republic of Ireland Match Prediction
Republic of Ireland have not won against Serbia in any of the three previous meetings between the two nations, so O'Neill's men will have to make history if they are to get off to a winning start in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Serbia beat Republic of Ireland 2-1 in the most recent meeting between the sides - an international friendly two years ago - with the other games they have played ending in a draw.
Republic of Ireland should be buoyed by their performances at Euro 2016, when they made it through the group stage after Brady's header sealed a dramatic win against Italy, but they will miss the goals of Keane despite his advanced age. Serbia have a group of talented players and this qualifying campaign could be too soon for them, but there is a lot of ability in the squad. Being on home soil could give them the edge here and Belgrade can be an intimidating place to visit.
A price of 21/20 on Serbia to beat Republic of Ireland at home in this game looks to be very good value and it is hard to turn down those odds, with the 16/5 available on Ireland of little appeal. As two of the three previous meetings between the nations have ended in a draw, that could be the best option from the match odds market at odds of around then 12/5 mark.
Only one of the three previous meetings between Serbia and Republic of Ireland have seen over 2.5 goals scored - although it was the most recent of their three games - so under 2.5 goals appeals at a price of 4/7, while a 1-1 draw stands out from the correct scores market at 6/1.
Serbia have not lost any of their last four matches and after being drawn in a relatively open section of the draw for the 2018 World Cup, they are being tipped as outsiders for qualification. However, there are few star names in the squad - although Liverpool's Marko Grujic has a lot of potential - with Dusan Tadic and Lazar Markovic supplying the creativity from midfield.
Defenders:- Ivanovic, Rajkovic, Mladenovic, Nastasic
Midfielders:- Tosic, Tadic, Markovic, Gudelj, Grujic
With record goalscorer Robbie Keane now having retired from international football, this is a chance for Shane Long to stake his claim to be Republic of Ireland's new goal hero. Martin O'Neill has mostly stuck with the same squad that reached the knock-out rounds of Euro 2016 and led against France before going on to lose to the hosts. The set-pieces of Robbie Brady are vital.
Defenders:- Coleman, Keogh, O'Shea, Ward
Midfielders:- Hendrick, McCarthy, Whelan, Brady, Hoolahan