Friday 24 Mar

Ireland vs Wales Match Preview

23 Mar 2017 Keith M. INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group D
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group D

Republic of Ireland

  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

vs

Kick-off
19:45 GMT
24 March 2017

Wales

  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Kick-off
19:45 GMT 24 March 2017

It’s the battle of the home nations as Wales take the very short trip over to Ireland to face Ireland. Both teams will be hoping to pick up all 3 points as they both look towards qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia from Group D. It’s currently Republic of Ireland who are in pole position as they sit top of the group after 4 games whereas their opponents sit in 3rd behind Ireland with 4 points less. Wales will look to close this gap to only 1 point as they visit the Aviva Stadium.

STATS

  • Ireland go into the match in great form as they are yet to lose in the group so far with 3 wins and 1 draw on the board after only 4 games. They’ll be hoping they can keep this form up and reach their second consecutive major tournament in Russia next summer.
  • Wales are yet to lose in the group either but with 3 draws and just the 1 win, they are some way off top spot after just 4 games. With a win against Ireland they will close that gap to just 1 point but Serbia could go top if they win their game against Georgia.
  • James McClean has shown a new goal scoring side to his game for Ireland in their qualifying campaign and with 3 goals in the 4 games, he is currently their top scorer. Goals against Moldova (2) and Austria have made him a threat to opposition defences.
  • It comes as absolutely no surprise to see Gareth Bale as Wales’ top scorer in the qualifying group after 4 games and there’s no doubt that he needs to propel Wales into the World Cup. With goals in 3 of the 4 games, he’ll fancy another one against Ireland.

HEAD TO HEAD

In the 4 meetings between the two sides since 2000, Wales haven’t beaten Ireland as the Irish have won twice and drawn twice. The last fixture in 2013 ended 0-0 and there has only been one game where both teams scored.

IRELAND NEWS

Ireland will be confident of beating their nearby rivals on Friday and they have the perfect chance to do just that in front of their own fans. However, James McCarthy probably won’t be available which could be a big problem for the hosts. Wes Hoolahan, Ciaran Clark and Harry Arter have all withdrawn from Martin O’Neill’s squad while Robbie Brady is suspended from the clash. They might struggle with so many unavailable players.

Latest matches: Republic of Ireland

12.11.2016 Worl Austria Ireland 0:1 W
09.10.2016 Worl Moldova Republic of Ireland 1:3 W
06.10.2016 Worl Republic of Ireland Georgia 1:0 W
05.09.2016 Worl Serbia Republic of Ireland 2:2 D
31.08.2016 Int. Republic of Ireland Oman 4:0 W

WALES NEWS

With so many of Ireland’s players unavailable for the clash, Wales will be even more confident of coming away with a victory. They have a few of their best players back for the fixture as Ben Davies, Aaron Ramsey and their main man Gareth Bale all come back into the squad after being injured in the last international break.

Latest matches: Wales

12.11.2016 Worl Wales Serbia 1:1 D
09.10.2016 Worl Wales Georgia 1:1 D
06.10.2016 Worl Austria Wales 2:2 D
05.09.2016 Worl Wales Moldova 4:0 W
06.07.2016 Euro Portugal Wales 2:0 L

SUMMING UP!

This game has got draw written all over it. Ireland have better form and home advantage but several decent players missing while Wales have average form but a lot of their good payers coming back. It should be a great game between two strong rivals and will hopefully have quite a few goals.

About the author - Keith M.

Dedicated tipster with five years of experience. Devoted Arsenal fan and sports writer.

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