England’s conquerors in Euro 2016, Iceland, travel to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday night to play the Republic of Ireland. The Irish dropped down to second in Group D following their goalless draw against Wales on Friday night, which presented Serbia with the opportunity to move ahead of them; however Martin O’Neill insisted that he was happy with the performance, considering his squad has had to cope with a number of injuries to key players.
Ireland went into the game against Wales with a number of key players missing; however their injury crisis went from bad to worse against the Welsh, with Neil Taylor’s horror tackle on Seamus Coleman, which left the Everton defender with a double break in his leg and up to six months on the side lines. Ireland’s luck was out in the game as Wales could easily have been down to nine men, with Gareth Bale also committing a heinous foul in the build-up to Taylor’s tackle on Coleman.
Martin O’Neill’s side come into the game against Iceland in good form. Unbeaten in their last six games, they’ve got some major scalps that could prove beneficial for the future. An away win against Austria in November last year was preceded by an away victory in Moldova and there’s a very realistic chance that they could qualify for Euro 2016.
Following on from their exploits at Euro 2016, Iceland are in a strong position to qualify for the World Cup from Group I. After five games, they’re second in the group with 10 points behind Croatia, but they lost to the table toppers 2-0 in November. They’re still in a good position for a playoff spot however and they’ll have to fend off Ukraine and Turkey to stand a chance for appearing in Russia next summer.
Republic of Ireland vs. Iceland Predictions
Ireland played well against Wales on Friday night, but don’t expect complacency to set in when renowned taskmaster O’Neill as manager and Roy Keane also in the backroom team. The Aviva Stadium has been turned into a fortress by the men from the Emerald Isle in recent times and although they’re heavily depleted by injury, it’s unlikely that they’ll lose this match.
Republic of Ireland vs. Iceland Betting Tips
Ireland go into this game as favourites, priced at 11/10, while Iceland are underdogs at 53/20, with a draw available at 43/20. It promises to be a close encounter, perhaps with few goals in the game, but both teams to score is available at 23/20. Meanwhile, if it is a close fought game, you can get Ireland to win 1-0 at 5/1.
Head to Head
- The Republic of Ireland have never lost an international match against Iceland, winning five of seven encounters (D2).
- The last meeting between the two came in September 1997 in qualifying for the 1998 World Cup. Roy Keane scored twice in a 4-2 win in Reykjavik.
- The only time the Republic of Ireland have failed to score in seven games against Iceland was the last time they hosted them (0-0 in November 1996).
- Martin O’Neill’s side have kept seven clean sheets in their last 10 home internationals (W6 D3 L1).
- Iceland have won three of their last four internationals away from Iceland (L1), scoring exactly twice in each victory.
- The Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last 15 international matches at the Aviva Stadium (W9 D6), since a 1-2 friendly defeat against Turkey in May 2014.
Republic of Ireland Team News
Ireland are heavily depleted with injuries to a number of key players including Seamus Coleman, Daryl Murphy, Shane Duffy, Wes Hoolahan, Ciaran Clark and Harry Arter.
Republic of Ireland Squad: Darren Randolph, Keiren Westwood, Colin Doyle, John O’Shea, Stephen Ward, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce, Cyrus Christie, John Egan, Aiden McGeady, Glenn Whelan, James McClean, Jeff Hendrick, David Meyler, Callum O’Dowda, Jonny Hayes, Daryl Horgan, Conor Hourihane, Shane Long, Kevin Doyle, Jonathan Walters
Iceland Team News
Iceland will be reliant on Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson for creativity in midfield. Despite his club’s struggles in the Premier League, he’s scored eight times and has 11 assists so far this season and is likely to start.