Saturday, February 29, 2020

Prediction: Switzerland vs Republic of Ireland

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 16/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Knowing that three points will send them through to next year’s European Championships, The Republic of Ireland will make the trip to fellow qualifying hopefuls Switzerland on Tuesday night.


Starting with the hosts, while many still have Switzerland tipped as the leading contender to secure an automatic route to next year’s European Championships, Head Coach Vladimir Petković finds his side needing a much-needed morale boost. Despite dominating large spells of the game out in Denmark over the weekend, they eventually slumped to a 1-0 defeat on foreign soil and Rossocrociati have won just one of their last six matches across all formats. With that single victory coming against Group D whipping boys Gibraltar, the Reds also watched England clinch a bronze medal in the inaugural UEFA Nations League back in June. Although Switzerland have undoubtedly saved their best performances for home soil during qualification, fans around Geneva will be calling on their side to make some much-needed improvements at the back. The Swiss have recorded just four clean sheets in their last 17 appearances, including shipping three second-half goals against Denmark back in March.

Team News

Xherdan Shaqiri is absent with a calf injury meaning the prodigious Breel Embolo, currently with Borussia Mönchengladbach, started as part of a front three against Denmark alongside Haris Seferovic and Admir Mehmedi.

Republic of Ireland

As for the visitors, while they may have struggled to create an abundance of clear cut opportunities over the weekend, Ireland’s 0-0 draw out in Georgia keeps their qualifying dreams in their own hands. With Mick McCarthy’s men knowing that a shock victory on Tuesday would see them secure an automatic route to EURO 2020, the Greens are yet to taste defeat in any of their six Group D matchups so far. Now holding a four-point buffer over their hosts in midweek, a huge part of the Greens’ eye-catching campaign has come thanks to their newfound defensive resolve. Recording yet another qualifying clean sheet on Saturday afternoon, the former Ipswich boss has seen his men concede just a pair of goals in Group D, comfortably the best defensive record held by any nation. Ireland will undoubtedly also be boosted by his side’s recent record against the Swiss. McCarthy’s men have not lost a matchup against Tuesday’s hosts since 2003, a four-match unbeaten run.

Team News

David McGoldrick has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s trip to Switzerland on Tuesday.

Luton Town frontman James Collins led the line against Georgia and may do so again against the Swiss.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Switzerland have won just one of their last six matches across all competitions.
  • Ireland have conceded just two goals in their six Group D appearances.
  • When the two sides met last month, the match ended 1-1.
  • Ireland are unbeaten in their last four matches against Switzerland, three of those matches have ended in a draw.
  • Each of the previous four meetings between the two nations have seen under 2.5 goals at full-time.


While Switzerland will enter Tuesday’s matchup as a favorite with the bookmakers, the hosts have begun to show some cracks heading into the final phase of qualifying. Winning just one of their last six matches across all formats and Ireland continuing to show some much-needed defensive resolve, Tuesday could prove to be a cagey encounter. With the two nations playing out a 1-1 draw last month and three of the previous four matches ending with both teams taking a point, we’re backing a similar outcome in midweek.

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 16/5

Bookmaker: Bet365


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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