With Spain and Italy also in Group C, it is imperative that Giovanni Trapattoni’s side get off to a strong start and the manager will be looking for a bright display from his team when they entertain Bosnia on Saturday afternoon.
Ireland are available at 21/20 (BetVictor free bets) to claim victory at the Aviva Stadium and it seems like a decent price considering they qualified for Euro 2012 in impressive fashion, comfortably beating Estonia over two legs to reach Poland.
Trapattoni has named a strong starting XI for this farewell friendly which will see Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle partnered together in attack, with Keane having spent last season at LA Galaxy apart from a relatively successful spell with Aston Villa.
The Irish record top scorer can be backed at 5/1 (Paddy Power) to score the first goal of this encounter, with Doyle on offer at 13/2 while all eyes will be on James McLean who has forced his way into the reckoning and the Sunderland winger is set to make his full debut for the boys in green.
Considering the impressive form that the 23-year-old enjoyed for Sunderland this term, odds of 18/1 about him scoring first against Bosnia seems like a reasonable price, with the manager having named the below side.
Republic of Ireland starting XI v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Kieren Westwood; Paul McShane, Seán St Ledger, Richard Dunne, Stephen Ward; Damien Duff, Darron Gibson, Glenn Whelan, James McClean; Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle.
Meanwhile, Bosnia-Herzegovina have some impressive players in the team and that includes Edin Dzeko who is fresh from claiming a Premier League winners’ medal with Manchester City.
The Bosnians finished just a point behind France in their Euro 2012 qualifying group before losing in a play-off and that 1-1 draw against Les Bleus at the Stade de France indicated that this is a team who will give Ireland a tough test in Dublin.
The visitors will have their attack spearheaded by Dzeko who is 7/1 to score the first goal of the game, although Vedad Ibišević is another dangerous player. Not that Ireland are in the habit of conceding many goals at home and that is reflected in the Under 2.5 Goals quote which is 8/13.