The Republic of Ireland hit a low point with defeat to Luxembourg, and Kevin Hatchard can't see tonight's clash with Qatar being a thriller.
"The 1-0 defeat to Luxembourg means that the Republic of Ireland have now failed to score in eight of their last nine games, and Qatar have shown in this international break that they are no pushovers."
Don't expect a goal-fest
Qatar v Republic of Ireland
Tuesday 30 March, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Football
We came unstuck last night in the Netherlands, as Jizz Hornkamp scored a brace of penalties for Den Bosch in a 3-3 draw against Go Ahead Eagles. We're entitled to be disappointed - Go Ahead Eagles had won seven in a row on the road, they led 2-0 at half time and they had only conceded 19 goals all season before shipping three against the league's bottom side.
Baffled, we head to Debrecen in Hungary, which will play host to tonight's clash between Qatar and the Republic of Ireland. In a bid for match practice, 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar have been given some fake qualifiers in the Republic's group which won't count towards the actual points totals.
Qatar have beaten Luxembourg and Azerbaijan so far in this international break, although it's worth noting that both teams failed to select their strongest sides. Al Sadd striker Hassan Al Haydos caught the eye in the win over Azerbaijan as he netted a brace.
The Republic of Ireland are at a low ebb after a humiliating 1-0 home defeat to Luxembourg, and their chances of being alongside Qatar at next year's World Cup are slim.
That defeat has caused a fair bit of soul-searching - there simply aren't enough players that operate at an elite level available to manager Stephen Kenny, and the former Dundalk boss has had bad luck with injuries.
Although there are mitigating circumstances, including a long-standing national failure to focus on player development, the results under Kenny have been grim. The Republic have lost five of their last six games, and they have failed to score in eight of the last nine. The exception in that sequence was the recent qualifier against Serbia, and they lost that match 3-2 anyway.
Given those recent results, the bet that appeals here is backing No in the Both Teams To Score market at 1.9420/21. Not only has that regularly landed in the Republic's matches, but it has also been a successful wager in 16 of Qatar's last 25 games.