The Republic of Ireland will look to secure their place in Euro 2012 having done most of the hard work in the first leg when they take to the field for their second leg play-off game against Estonia on Tuesday, as Stan James indicate all the free bets are for Trapattoni’s men.
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An emphatic 4-0 win in the first leg in Tallinn helped Giovanni Trapattoni’s men all but secured their place in Poland and Ukraine next year, and the Italian will look to get the job done in Dublin and claim a place in the European Championships for the first time since 1988.
No country has participated in more play-offs for major tournaments that Ireland, and the men in green will go some way to banishing their controversial defeat against France in their play-off for the World Cup in 2010 if and when they complete the formalities at the Aviva Stadium.
Robbie Keane bagged a brace in the first leg while Jonathan Waters and Keith Andrews also found the net to put the tie beyond doubt, and Trapattoni is likely to stick with the front pairing of Walters and Keane having opted for the Stoke striker over West Brom’s Simon Cox, although returning Wolves front man Kevin Doyle is also in contention having returned from suspension.
The visitors will be hoping to pull off the impossible and try and pull back the four goal deficit, although with a trio of first choice players out of the game, their task looks more daunting that ever.
Estonia meanwhile will be without the two players sent off on Friday, Andrei Stepanov and skipper Raio Piiroja, while goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko will also sit out the return leg having picked up a yellow card for protesting against the award of the 88th minute penalty that Keane slotted home to round of the rout.
John O’Shea looks set to return from injury for the second leg although wil likely start from the bench, while Everton’s Seamus Coleman may get a run out having missed out on the matchday squad altogether last time round.