Ireland v Georgia Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
March 25, 2019
Aviva Stadium - Euro 2020 Qualification
Ireland go into the second game of their Euro 2020 qualifying campagin, facing a Georgia side that are likely to struggle in Group D. With Denmark and Switzerland both set to compete with Mick McCarthy's side for two qualification spots, it is vital that the Greens get off to a good start.
The two sides met as recently as 2017, as they were drawn together in the 2018 World Cup qualifying, with Ireland winning at home, and holding out for a 1-1 draw in Georgia.
Mick McCarthy is expected to continue experimenting with his sides, and admitted the use of Matt Doherty on the wing was a mistake. As a result, Burnley winger Robbie Brady is expected to step into the right flank, joining teammates Jeff Hendrick and Conor Hourihane.
Despite a disappointing defeat in their last game, Valdamir Weiss is unlikely to make major changes to his side. Winger Giorgi Merebashvili looks set to miss out yet again, having failed to make the bench against Switzerland, with exciting talent Giorgi Chakvetadze side-lined since January.
Ireland v Ireland Predictions and Previews
Ireland are set to renew their rivalry with Georgia on Monday, who once again stand in the way of qualification to a major tournament.
Despite their status as minnows of the Euro 2020 group, Valdamir Weiss' side held their own during the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, taking a point off Ireland, whilst also causing problems for both Wales and Austria. In the past year Gerogia have gone from strength to strength, winning their Nations League group, and firmly entrenching their passing style of football.
Ireland, on the other hand, looked devoid of ideas in their recent 1-0 win over Gibralter, a side made up largely of part-time players. McCarthy himself admitted that his side were always set to struggle under the regime of a new manager and playing against a side willing to defend for 90 minutes. The former Ipswich boss will be hoping that a few more days training will give his side more attacking impetus.
With McCarthy's side typically taking the status of underdogs themselves, it is hardly surprising that they struggled when asked to unlock a typically defensive side. As a result, they may well be glad to face an ambitious Georgia team, that will go out to play their own style of football.
Furthermore, an injury to their key man Giorgi Chakvetadze, voted Georgian player of the year in 2018, will be a real blow for Weiss. Without the 19-year-old starting attacks from the left flank, the side looked short of ideas against Switzerland, and were forced into dropping deep, with no outlet available.
That is not to say that Georgia are without decent replacements, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia offers an alternative option, able to operate on either flank, whilst Zuriko Davitashvili provides an attacking threat from midfield. At just 17-years-old, both players look set for a bright future with the national team, and will be desperate to break into the first team.
Ireland will know that they are expected to win on Monday, and fans are unlikely to be understanding, with many likely to underestimate their opposition. However, with a number of top-level players in his squad, McCarthy will be keen to push for a victory, taking a valuable six points from the opening week of qualifiers.
Conor Hourihane to score anytime at 11/4
McCarthy announced that he wants more goals from his midfielders, and with Hendrick scoring against Gibralter, free-kick specialist Hourihane will hope to get on the scoresheet.
Under 2.5 goals scored at 4/7
Neither side is particularly prolific, and a narrow win would do the trick for either manager.