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

Ireland will be aiming to bounce back after crashing to a stoppage-time defeat against Portugal
Ireland will be aiming to bounce back after crashing to a stoppage-time defeat against Portugal
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST

Ireland host Azerbaijan at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, looking to put the Portugal heartbreak behind them.

The Boys in Green were close to causing a huge upset on Wednesday, but a late double from Cristiano Ronaldo turned the tie around.

The loss left them without a victory in 14 competitive games, their worst run in history, and without a point in the qualifiers.

Luckily for them, Azerbaijan haven't won a single game in Group A either, while their last competitive victory came back in September 2020.


Ireland vs Azerbaijan Head-To-Head

The sides have never played each other before. The upcoming clash will be their first in history.

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

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


Ireland vs Azerbaijan Team News

Ireland

The Boys in Green might be forced into a few changes on Saturday with Dara O'Shea likely to sit out after trudging off the pitch injured against Portugal.

Veteran striker Shane Long tested positive for COVID-19 before the game against Portugal and is in self-isolation. He is a doubt for this game.

Norwich City defender Andrew Omobamidele made his international debut on Wednesday and might come into the XI at the weekend.

With games coming thick and fast, head coach Stephen Kenny might introduce some fresh legs to his line-up, with players such as James McCeal and Conor Hourihane starting in midfield.

Injured: Dara O'Shea

Doubtful: Shane Long

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

Azerbaijan

Azeri manager Gianni De Biasi will be concerned with his side's lack of attacking firepower.

The Milli komanda have struck only twice in the qualifiers so far and mustered only three shots at goal.

Ali Ghorbani is currently undergoing a dry spell in front of goal and might be replaced in the starting XI.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None


Ireland vs Azerbaijan Predicted XI

Ireland (3-4-3): Gavin Bazunu; Andrew Omobamidele, Shane Duffy, John Egan; Seamus Coleman, Jeff Hendrick, Josh Cullen, Matt Doherty; Jayson Molumby, Aaron Connolly; Adam Idah.

Azerbaijan (5-4-1): Shahrudin Mahammadaliyev; Abbas Huseynov, Hojjat Haqqverdi, Maksim Medvedev, Azer Salahli, Toral Bayramov; Ismayil Ibrahimli, Anatoliy Nuriev, Mahir Emreli, Emin Mahmudov; Filip Ozobic.


Ireland vs Azerbaijan Prediction

Ireland will be desperate to arrest their 14-game winless run, the worst in the nation's history.

Although the side came really close to winning against Portugal, don't expect a similar late turnaround by Azerbaijan, who're on a low-ebb themselves.

Prediction: Ireland 2-1 Azerbaijan


Edited by Shardul Sant
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