Friday, April 28, 2017

Prediction: Republic of Ireland vs Wales

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Republic of Ireland will be looking to cement the first position in Group D when they take on out-of-sorts Wales at their Aviva Stadium in Dublin. However, the Euro 2016 surprise package will have other ideas as they are after a morale-boosting win following the run of three successive draws.

Republic of Ireland

It is fair to say that Republic of Ireland have been showing a lot of progress under Martin O’Neill as they not only qualified for the Euro 2016 finals, but also managed to progress from the group stage, even coming close to upsetting hosts France in the Last 16 stage. The very good performance in France clearly helped the team raise their spirits ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, and they in turn enjoyed a very good start in what is an evenly matched group. The Irish allowed no surprises in difficult fixtures against minnows Georgia and Moldova, but it is the 2-2 draw in Serbia and away win over Austria that seriously improved their chances of reaching the tournament finals in Russia. After just four games, Republic of Ireland sit two, four and six points clear of Serbia, Wales and Austria respectively, so no doubts they are the masters of their own destiny. Everybody in the camp is aware that a victory over the Dragons would get the team much closer to the World Cup finals, but a serious injury crisis is likely to damage their chances of claiming maximum points.

Team News

First team regulars Wes Hoolahan, Ciaran Clark, Shane Duffy and Harry Arter are all injured, whereas Robbie Brady misses out through suspension.

Daryl Murphy is out with a calf problem, whereas James McCarthy faces a fitness test as he battles a hamstring strain. Seamus Coleman, Jonny Hayes and Shane Long should be fit to play though.

Wales

The Wales national team did the entire country proud with their performances in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and especially the final tournament, where they reached the semi-final, and the main task now is to show that that was not a one-off result. This team definitely have the potential to remain near the top of European football, and their credentials have already been tested several times in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Following the 4-0 hammering of Moldova in their opening fixture, Wales went on to share spoils with Austria, Georgia and Serbia, slipping to third in the overall standings. The Dragons will have to start winning soon if they want to avoid missing out on the tournament in Russia and they now have a decent shot at upsetting group leaders Republic of Ireland. While they have key men Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey back to the side, the Irish will be missing quite a few regular starters, meaning that Wales have reason to be cautiously optimistic about their chances at Aviva. Breaking the side that only conceded one goal in last three will be no easy task, so this should be another intense affair with chances few and far between.

Team News

Liverpool starlet Ben Woodburn receives his first call-up, while MK Dons defender Joe Walsh is the other uncapped footballer in the squad.

In-form striker Tom Lawrence was forced to withdraw and he has been replaced by yet another Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Rep of Ireland missing several key men
  • Wales have Bale and Ramsey back
  • Rep of Ireland conceded one goal in last three
  • Both sides have yet to lose in the current campaign
  • Both teams scored just one in past four meetings

Verdict

Considering that main creative outlets Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady will be sorely missed, Republic of Ireland can be trusted to focus on their rock-solid defence and attempt to prevent Wales from scoring. The Dragons are far from the desired form and have some problems up front, so we don’t expect to see too many goals.

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerPredictions


SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshock???cooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsad!?ideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
wpDiscuz
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

  • Football_888sport betting
Become a Writer
More More
Top