- Rajko Mitić Stadium
- Sky Sports Football
- Fewer than three goals have been scored in four of Serbia’s last five matches.
- Under 2.5 goals has landed in eight of Republic of Ireland’s last nine games.
- Republic of Ireland have failed to score in each of their last seven matches, losing 1-0 three times in that period.
Serbia to bounce back against goalshy Ireland
Serbia’s penalty defeat to Scotland in their Euro 2020 playoff clash will still be fresh in their minds, but the hosts have a great chance to start afresh with a victory in their World Cup qualifying opener on Wednesday.
They come up against a Republic of Ireland side that have been abysmal going forward over the last year. They have failed to score in each of their last seven matches and haven’t won a competitive game since June 2019.
In fact, their only victories since June 2018 have come against Gibraltar (twice), Georgia and New Zealand. Serbia represents a significant step up in quality despite their recent struggles.
Both sides struggling in attack
It should come as no surprise that Ireland are struggling to find the net at the moment. Just two of their squad – James McClean and Shane Long – have hit double figures for their country and both of these players have over 75 caps to their name.
Serbia boast a slightly more prolific range of attackers, with Dusan Tadic and Aleksandar Mitrovic being the main threats. Even so, the hosts have struggled going forward in recent times and we’re fully expecting a drab affair in Belgrade.
Goals at a premium in Belgrade
Fewer than three goals have been scored in four of Serbia’s last five matches, with their 5-0 thrashing of Russia being the outlier here. Republic of Ireland have seen the overs land in just one of their last nine games, and that was a 3-0 defeat at Wembley in November.
With this in mind, backing under 2.5 goals looks an opportunity and we’re also opting for a 1-0 win for the hosts. Ireland have lost by this scoreline in three of their last six competitive matches.