Republic of Ireland vs Serbia 03/05/2014 Free International Soccer Pick and Preview
Serbia vs Republic of Ireland
Wednesday 5th March 2014 19:45(GMT)
The Line: Republic of Ireland 8/5 Draw 23/10Serbia 2/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky Sports
Just to point out I really dont like to back on international friendlies so these previews and picks are for those looking for an interest but I wouldnt recommend going heavy on any of the games. With that said:
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill will be looking to build on the strong start made by his team thus far. This will be a real test for the Republic with Serbia a quality team. O'Neill has said established stars Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne will not play a part in this friendly as he rests both who are elder in age. I imagine the management team will want to have a look at the younger players here and expect to see alot of Shane Long, Ciaran Clark , James McCarthy and James Mclean. I also expect to see Anthony Stokes and David Meyler get some game to assess how they will fit into the international fold.
Serbia have a strong squad in dublin for the game with Chelsea's Ivanovich and Matic alongside Manchester City's Kolorov, in addition there is rising young stars Ljajic and Sulejmani. The Serbian coach Mihjalivich resigned after the team failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2014, similar to the Irish team where Trapatoni departed after failing to make the playoffs. Serbia have lots of talent in this squad but quite how much appetite will be there is unknown especially as some of their bigger stars are involved with clubs that are in Championship races and European games just around the corner.
I think Ireland will continue their winning ways under O'Neill. Its never easy to predict how international friendlies will go but I think Ireland look poised for a sustained period of excellance under O'Neill and I think this will be a good start for the team. Look for Ireland to play with alot of passion here and the youthful exuberance of this squad should be beneficial for O'Neill and the Republic of Ireland. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo