It didn’t take long for party mode to kick in after Ireland’s 7-0 hammering of Gibraltar on Saturday.
Maybe it was the giddy air around Roy Keane’s auto-slagography, Saturday night pints or just watching the Boys in Green score as many goals in one ‘competitive’ game as they had in their previous six – but the optimism barometer went through the roof.
Bets placed on Ireland to beat Germany tonight (7.45pm) rose 276 per cent on Saturday and 541 per cent on Sunday inspired by Robbie Keane’s hat-trick in the 7-0 win and Poland’s 2-0 victory against Germany later on.
Most Irish fans would have been forgiven for expecting a tanking for Martin O’Neill’s side in the world champions’ back yard when the draw was made.
But Ireland head into the match joint top of Group D on six points after two games with Germany three points behind after a stuttering home win over Scotland last month.
Keane’s hat-trick against lowly Gibraltar brought his international tally to 65 goals in 136 international games and he now sits ahead of Brazil’s Ronaldo in the international goalscorers’ chart.
Keane for more …
The Dubliner is 14/1 to score first tonight or 9/2 to hit the net at anytime and the 34-year-old (with 19 goals in 28 games for LA Galaxy) and has never been in better form as he prepares for game number 37 in European qualifiers.
- Keane’s 65 goals in 136 international games gives him a 47.79% strike rate
- That increases to 54.76% in 46 goals in 84 games if you strip out friendlies
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