It may not have been pretty but Ireland’s wins against Moldova and Georgia have us in great shape in group D. With other results going in their favour, O’Neill’s men are sitting in 2nd place going into this set of fixtures, ahead of Wales and Saturdays opponents Austria.
There’s plenty of fresh faces in the Ireland side with Martin O’Neill calling up 4 uncapped players including, most notably, the Dundalk duo of Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle.
O’Neill has a few injury concerns ahead of the game and may look to Dundalk dynamo Daryl Horgan for inspiration. He’s on flying form at the moment and has experience scoring goals in Europe this season. We make him 10/1 to score first in the game and 7/2 to pop up anytime.
The Draw is priced at 5/2 and looks the most likely outcome on Saturday evening
Ireland’s away form isn’t great, especially against teams rated higher than us in the FIFA world rankings. Our last 3 away wins have come against Moldova, Gibraltar and Georgia.
Austria had an awful time at Euro 2016 having bombed out in the group stages and seem to have lost confidence as a result of their woes in France. They will take some confidence from their recent draw with Group D favourites Wales and their home form in qualifiers has been historically quite strong.
Ireland will provide a different test to the pacey Welsh side but something tells me the result will be the same.