Thursday, December 12, 2019

Prediction: Republic of Ireland vs Switzerland

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals and both teams to score no

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to extend on what has been a bright start to life in Group D, Ireland will welcome Switzerland to the Aviva Stadium on Thursday night.

Republic of Ireland

Starting with the hosts, while many had tipped Ireland as an outsider to secure an automatic spot out of Group D, Mick McCarthy’s men have really laid down an early marker. Securing a 2-0 win over Gibraltar in Dublin last time out, the former Ipswich boss has his side enjoy an unbeaten run in their opening four contest in Group D. Now holding a five-point buffer over Denmark and the mood in their camp at the highest it has been in recent memory, fans around the Aviva Stadium will be most impressed by their sides newfound defensive resolve. Shipping just a single goal in their four qualifying matchups, the Greens have also recorded five clean sheets in their last six matches across all competitions. Now finding themselves in pole position to secure a spot at next year’s European Championships, Ireland have also continued to shine at the Aviva Stadium. Thursday’s hosts have lost just one match in Dublin since November 2017.

Team News

Wolves defender Matt Doherty is the lastest Ireland player to withdraw from their squad for this weeks Group D matchups. Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy, Preston North End striker Sean Maguire and Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood are also unavailable for the doubleheader of fixtures at the Dublin venue.

Switzerland

As for the visitors, although Switzerland may have opened Group D as an overwhelming favorite to secure a spot at Euro 2020, the Reds have begun to show some signs of a minor struggle. Suffering a penalties defeat against England back in June and watching the Three Lions clinch a bronze medal in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, Head Coach Vladimir Petković has seen his men fail to win any of their last three contests and might still be feeling a hangover from their major collapse against Denmark back in March. Throwing away a three-goal lead against the Danes, Switzerland eventually had to settle for a point and their form on the road has left some unanswered questions. Switzerland have lost four of their last six matches on their travels and also have some unpleasant memories the last time they made the trip to Dublin. When the two sides met back in 2016, the Reds slumped to a 1-0 defeat.

Team News

Xherdan Shaqiri has pulled out of Switzerland’s squad and will also be joined on the sidelines with attacking talisman Steven Zuber who has also withdrawn from selection.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last time the two sides met back in 2016 Ireland came away with a 1-0 win.
  • Ireland have recorded five clean sheets in their last six contests.
  • Switzerland have lost four of their last six matches on the road.
  • They have also failed to win any of their last three matches across all competitions.
  • Each of the last four matches between the two sides have seen under 2.5 goals.

Conclusion

On paper, this has all the making of a match that could prove to be a cagey encounter. With both Ireland and the Swiss suffering with a string of key injury issues, chances could prove to be at a premium on Thursday night. Playing out a 1-0 win the last time Switzerland made the trip to Dublin and with each of Ireland’s last nine matches seeing under 2.5 goals at full-time, we’re backing a similar outcome in midweek.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals and both teams to score no

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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