One of the games of the qulifying period will see Poland travel to Dublin to take on the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. Under Martin O'Neill Ireland have improved significantly performance wise and their 1-1 draw in Germany was one of the best results Ireland have manged in a long long time. John O'Shea captains the side and the Sunderland defender will be a key figure as he marshalls Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski tomorrow evening. Ireland are not blessed with natural goal scorers though and are still relying on Robbie Keane in the big matches. It is time for Shane Lone and Jonaton Walters to step up to the mark but both are yet to really take their place as Irelands leading striker.
Poland come into this game top of the Group after beating Germany in Poland, the Polish are favourites to qualify along with the Germans but with Scotland, Germany and the Republic of Ireland all on seven points both of the Celtic countries will feel like they have a chance of qualification here. Poland if they can get a result in Ireland will be in pole position though and with Lewandowski they have the one truly world class player on the pitch. Poland also have the young Ajax striker Milik who has eleven goals in twenty games and has netted four goals in his last four games for Poland.
While it is understandably an advantage to be the home team I think that the wrong team is favoured here, I am from Ireland and a passionate supporter of Irish soccer but for me Poland are the better side here and should be favoured over an Irish team that will work hard but may not have the quality to win the game. For these reasons I am going to take the draw, I think Ireland's work rate should keep them competitive in this game and if Poland had a couple of more quality players to go with Lewandowski and Milik I would be tempted by the 2/1 for Poland but for me the 11/5 available on the draw is too good to pass up.