After enduring penalty shootout heartbreak in midweek, Ireland will look to get back on their feet with a win over a youthful Wales’ side in Dublin. Will Lancaster previews this fixture, alongside giving his betting tips for Sunday afternoon’s clash.
Who is playing?
Ireland vs Wales
What competition is it?
UEFA Nations League Group B4
What time is Ireland vs Wales?
14:00 GMT, Sunday 11th October 2020
Which stadium is hosting Ireland vs Wales?
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
What channel is Ireland vs Wales on?
Sky Sports Main Event
Ireland vs Wales Summary
The debate over just how useful the UEFA Nations League is continues to rage on. Many see the newly formed continental competition as a poor effort at glorifying friendlies, whilst other fans perceive it as useful for making international breaks enjoyable again.
However, for Ireland and Wales fans, there is no doubting the integrity of the competition as the Nations League seedings have kindly drawn these two ‘rivals’ together. Although this fixture is not classed as a local derby, there is an element of home nations bragging rights up for grabs in Dublin, and both sides will itch to take three points home.
Ireland Team News and Form
The Boys in Green go into this fixture fresh off the back of Thursdays’ penalty shoot-out defeat to Slovakia in Bratislava, which cruelly ended their hopes of Euro 2020 qualification. After battling to a 0-0 draw in the Slovak capital, Stephen Kenny’s side missed two vital spot kicks in succession to leave their fans reeling. To rub salt into the wound more, victory would’ve set up a bloodbath tie against their bitter neighbours in Northern Ireland for a spot in Europe’s elite competition.
Ireland hasn’t fared too well in recent fixtures either; having won just one game in their last seven in all competitions against some rather poor opposition, the Aviva Stadium outfit will look to ease their continental worries with a first home victory since beating New Zealand 3-1 in November 2019.
Kenny has seen a few of his star players withdraw from the 23-man squad with injury worries. Captain Seamus Coleman is the most notable absentee, whilst powerhouse defender Darragh Lenihan and midfield workhorse Harry Arter also miss out on a place in the squad.
Wales Team News and Form
Wales also heads into this game having lost in midweek, after a rather bleak 3-0 loss against England at Wembley on Thursday; albeit with an incredibly depleted side. The Dragons’ had a night to forget in the capital, registering just two shots on target as they made no impact upon the game at all. However, the absence of many key men influenced the outcome – David Brooks, Aaron Ramsey, Daniel James and Harry Wilson all missed out on game time, as Ryan Giggs rested them given the importance of this fixture.
Their recent form should give them a lot of optimism for Sunday’s fixture. Having gone eight games unbeaten prior to Thursday – including impressive wins against Hungary and Finland and a hard fought draw in Croatia – Wales will look to capitalise upon the Republic’s woeful form by coming home with all three points.
Record goalscorer Gareth Bale misses out with injury, whilst midfield maestro Aaron Ramsey is touch and go in compliance with COVID-19 regulations, after two staff at his club Juventus tested positive for the virus.
Ireland Last Five Matches (All Competitions)
- Slovakia (A) 0-0 (2-4) UEFA EURO Qualifiers defeat
- Finland (H) 0-1 Nations League defeat
- Bulgaria (A) 1-1 Nations League draw
- Denmark (H) 1-1 UEFA EURO Qualifiers draw
- New Zealand (H) 3-1 Friendly win
Wales Last Five Matches (All Competitions)
- England (A) 0-3 Friendly defeat
- Bulgaria (H) 1-0 Nations League win
- Finland (A) 1-0 Nations League win
- Hungary (H) 2-0 UEFA EURO Qualifiers win
- Azerbaijan (A) 2-0 UEFA EURO Qualifiers win
Ireland Top Scorers
Shane Long (17 International Goals) – The talisman from Tipperary has been Ireland’s focal point in attack for some years now, and will look to get on the scoresheet against Wales for the first time in his career.
James McClean (10 International Goals) – It is almost three years to the day since James McClean scored his last goal for the Republic of Ireland; incidentally, it was against Wales in a 1-0 win. Since then, the controversial winger has struggled for game time on the left flank – however, he will hope history can repeat itself on Sunday.
Wales Top Scorers
Aaron Ramsey (16 International Goals) – Wales’ experienced midfielder Ramsey is a doubt for Sunday’s tie because of COVID regulations; however, if he is available, he will play a huge part in securing a victory for Wales. The former Arsenal playmaker is no stranger to scoring against Ireland; bagging in a 4-1 win over the Irish in September 2018.
Harry Wilson (3 International Goals) – The Wrexham wizard will hope to put himself in the shop window with an excellent performance on Sunday. After a move to Burnley collapsed in the last week of the transfer window, Wilson will look to impress on the international stage to show his suitors what they missed out on. Like Ramsey, he has also scored against Ireland before – netting a superb free kick the last meeting between the two, resulting in a 1-0 win for Wales in Dublin in 2018.
- Wales have won the last two fixtures between the sides – both in 2018 – but hadn’t beaten Ireland since 1991 until then.
- Wales edge the overall record between the two; winning seven games to Ireland’s six, with four draws between the pair.
- The two have never met in a major competition.
|16th October 2018||IRE 0-1 WAL||UEFA Nations League|
|6th September 2018||WAL 4-1 IRE||UEFA Nations League|
|9th October 2017||WAL 0-1 IRE||FIFA World Cup Qualification|
|24th March 2017||IRE 0-0 WAL||FIFA World Cup Qualification|
|14th August 2013||WAL 0-0 IRE||Friendly|
Will’s Betting Tips
With Ireland playing out a 0-0 draw in midweek, and a depleted Wales XI only just conceding three against a much stronger England side on Thursday, I expect this game to be a low-scoring cagey affair. Four of the last five meetings have been under 2.5 goals, and I expect this to happen again. This is priced at 4/9* with Mark Jarvis.
Ireland have failed to score two goals in a game against Wales in seven of their last nine fixtures, and having won just one of their last seven games, I expect this barren run of goals to continue. Republic of Ireland to score U1.5 goals is 1/3* with Mark Jarvis.
Tyler Roberts has shown flashes of brilliance for Leeds this season and has developed remarkably under Marcelo Bielsa. With the main goal threat of Gareth Bale still unavailable, and Kieffer Moore having started on Thursday, I expect him to start for Wales and find the net with Wilson, Brooks and James supplying him the ball. Roberts is 11/4* to score anytime with Mark Jarvis.
*Odds as of time of writing (Friday 9th October 2020) and subject to change
For more content, head to the MJ Sport Betting Guide Home.
We continue to climb the Feedspot Top 50 Betting Blogs thanks to your support. Thank you.