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Azerbaijan vs Ireland prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Ireland and Azerbaijan will meet for only the second time in history
Ireland and Azerbaijan will meet for only the second time in history
Sachin Bhat
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Two sides looking for their first win of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, meet at the Baku Olympic Stadium as Azerbaijan host Ireland on Friday.

Milli komanda have already been eliminated from the race for next year's showpiece with four defeats in five games.

Having accumulated just a single point so far, they're at the bottom of Group A and hovering just above them is Stephen Kenny's Boys in Green.

It's been an underwhelming campaign for them as they have struggled with disappointing results, including a stunning 1-0 home loss to minnows Luxembourg.

Trailing leaders Portugal by a massive 11 points with only three games remaining, their hopes of securing a direct qualification are over.

But Ireland can still come second and progress into the playoff round, provided they win all their fixtures and Serbia fumble in their matches.


Azerbaijan vs Ireland Head-To-Head

The 1-1 draw in September was their very first clash in history.

Now, the sides meet for only the second time.

Biletlər satışda!Dünya çempionatı - 2022-nin seçmə mərhələsi çərçivəsində 🇦🇿Azərbaycan - İrlandiya 🇮🇪 qarşılaşmasına COVID-19 pandemiyası ilə əlaqədar stadionun azarkeş tutumunun 50%-i qədər azarkeş buraxılacaq.🗓️ 9 oktyabr🕗 20:00🏟️ Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu📺 CBC Sport https://t.co/rdHxNhlUFy

Azerbaijan Form Guide (all competitions): L-D-L-L-W

Ireland Form Guide (all competitions): D-D-L-D-W


Azerbaijan vs Ireland Team News

Azerbaijan

Gianni De Biasi faces a dilemma in defense over whether to revert to a back-four or retain the five-man defense he played against Portugal.

The midfield, however, is sorted, with Gara Garayev, Toral Bayramov and Emin Mahmudov all expected to start in the middle.

Ramil Sheydayev, who's two shy of becoming Azerbaijan's joint second-highest scorer, is hoping to come into the XI.

He's started on the bench in all five of their qualifying games so far but faces competition from Ali Ghorbani and Mahir Emreli.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

Squad announced for Azerbaijan & Qatar fixtures@LaticsOfficial striker Will Keane receives his first international call-up as Stevens, Knight & Ogbene all return following injury 👍Coleman & O'Shea ruled out 👎09/10 | 🇦🇿🆚🇮🇪12/10 | 🇮🇪🆚🇶🇦#COYBIG | #WeAreOne | #WeAre100 https://t.co/rE0IcHtAlp

Ireland

Everton star Michael Keane's younger brother Will Keane has received his maiden call-up and will be raring to earn his first international cap.

His selection only intensifies competition for places in the attacking vanguard as Stephen Kenney is now left to choose from eight forwards!

Defensive duo skipper Seamus Coleman and Dara O'Shea have been ruled out for this month's fixtures with injuries. Ryan Manning also withdrew due to an ankle injury and will be replaced by Liam Scales.

Alan Browne and Jason Molumby are unavailable due to suspension.

Injured: Seamus Colema, Dara O'Shea, Ryan Manning

Suspended: Alan Browne, Jason Molumby

Unavailable: None


Azerbaijan vs Ireland Predicted XI

Azerbaijan (4-3-3): Shahrudin Mahammadaliyev; Maksim Medvedev, Elvin Badalov, Hojjat Haghverdi, Anton Krivotsyuk; Emin Mahmudov, Gara Garayev, Toral Bayramov; Namik Alasgkarov, Ali Ghorbani, Filip Ozobic.

Ireland (3-4-1-2): Gavin Bazunu; Cyrus Christie, Shane Duffy, John Egan; Matt Doherty, Conor Hourihane, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean; Callum Robinson; Troy Parrott, Adam Idah.


Azerbaijan vs Ireland Prediction

Ireland were given a hard time by Azerbaijan in their first encounter, snatching only a draw with a late, late strike.

Milli komanda are tough to beat at home too and Stephen Kenny's side can expect a serious challenge from them once more.

As much as revenge is on their minds, another stalemate seems like the most probable outcome.

Prediction: Azerbaijan 1-1 Ireland


Edited by Shardul Sant
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