This Sunday sees an all-British clash in the UEFA Nations League, as the Republic of Ireland play host to Wales in what should be a full-blooded clash.
Stephen Kenny’s Irish side will be smarting after their failure to qualify for next summer’s European Championship following their loss to Slovakia, while Ryan Giggs’ Wales were comfortably beaten by England in a friendly match on Thursday.
With both sides hunting promotion to League A of the Nations League, this is definitely a key clash.
Republic of Ireland vs Wales Head-to-Head
The Republic of Ireland were desperately unlucky in their bid to qualify for the European Championship, as they managed to hold Slovakia to a 0-0 draw in Bratislava before falling in a penalty shoot-out. The Boys in Green have now failed to win their past four international games.
A below-par Wales side – missing some of their key men – were comfortably beaten by England at Wembley, but Ryan Giggs should be hopeful coming into this one. Prior to that loss, Wales had won their last four matches.
Historically, the record between these two sides is very even. Wales have won seven, the Republic of Ireland have won six, and there have been six draws.
Republic of Ireland form guide: W-D-D-L-D
Wales form guide: W-W-W-W-L
Republic of Ireland vs Wales Team News
Stephen Kenny will need to make do without skipper Seamus Coleman, who was forced out of the squad due to a hamstring injury sustained in action for Everton. Darragh Lenihan is also out with an injury.
Injured: Seamus Coleman, Darragh Lenihan
Wales are without their best and most experienced players, as Gareth Bale is out with an injury while Aaron Ramsey has been forced to remain in Italy with Juventus. Veteran striker Hal Robson-Kanu is also set to miss out due to an arm injury, while defender Chris Mepham took a knock against England and may be a doubt.
Injured: Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu
Doubtful: Chris Mepham
Unavailable: Aaron Ramsey
Republic of Ireland vs Wales Predicted XI
Republic of Ireland predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Darren Randolph, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Enda Stevens, Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane, James McClean, James McCarthy, Callum O’Dowda, Shane Long
Wales predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Wayne Hennessey, Neco Williams, Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon, Ben Davies, Joe Morrell, Matthew Smith, David Brooks, Jonny Williams, Daniel James, Kieffer Moore
Republic of Ireland vs Wales Prediction
On paper at least, the younger, more vibrant side are Wales, and they will be hoping to catch Ireland with their morale low following their failure to make the European Championship.
However, Ryan Giggs’ side showed appallingly naive defending against England, and will need to keep a much stronger back-line if they’re to come away from Dublin with all three points. Overall, this should be a tight game and a draw seems the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Republic of Ireland 1-1 Wales