REPUBLIC OF IRELAND continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a tough contest in Geneva on Tuesday night. Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) sets the scene.
Switzerland v Republic of Ireland | Tuesday 15th October 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
A defiant Mick McCarthy defended Ireland's performance in Georgia on Saturday, insisting he’s happy with the situation the Republic find themselves in to qualify for Euro 2020. ROI were held to a lacklustre 0-0 draw in Tbilisi, with Denmark defeating Switzerland 1-0 to join them at the top of Group D on 12 points on a potentiality decisive day in qualification.
Saturday's scoreless struggle has increased the pressure on the Boys In Green with victory now essential against either Switzerland in Geneva on Tuesday night, or when Denmark visit Dublin in November. That’s easier said than done for a team that’s only avenue of attack appears to be set-piece balls delivered to the same postcode as Shane Duffy's head.
Not for the first time in this qualification campaign, Ireland looked bereft of ideas in Tbilisi. That was until youngster Aaron Connolly entered the fray, causing havoc on the counter-attack, although his inclusion from the off here in midweek seems highly unlikely with McCarthy a pedant for pragmatism. Avoiding defeat remains Mick’s number one target.
Follow a familiar pattern
McCarthy was adamant that a point from that game was a job well done and the stout Yorkshireman has already gone on record to state that a stalemate in Geneva would be a ‘fabulous' outcome. So regardless of possible pool permutations in play, it makes sense to follow a familiar pattern when Ireland take to the field and oppose goals.
Under 2.25 Goals can be snapped up at 5/6 at BetVictor and sees us make money should fewer than three goals be scored. We’ll make a half-stakes profit if exactly two goals are seen in Switzerland, with one or zero goals returning a full pay-out. Eleven of Ireland’s last 12 outings have produced no more than two goals with 7/12 (58%) seeing Under 1.5 Goals.
Remember, Ireland’s position is unchanged whether they pick up a point, or even lose this midweek. McCarthy’s men will qualify for Euro 2020 by beating either of Switzerland or Denmark in their final two fixtures, and so the visitors will again aim to frustrate, focussing upon dead-ball situations and crosses into the box in a defensively-minded approach.
Despite the warranted negativity towards the national team, ROI have shipped just two goals during their Group D exploits and they’ll hope to pray on the vulnerabilities that Switzerland have seen exposed when defending balls into the box. The top seeds have been undone by late goals in the group, the majority of which have been entirely preventable.
Swiss to get their just rewards?
Saturday’s loss has put Switzerland under pressure. Wins over ROI, Georgia and Gibraltar will qualify Die Nati regardless, but a stalemate here could snooker Vladimir Petkovic's team as it would put Denmark into the finals – presuming they beat Gibraltar – and leave the Swiss vulnerable to elimination if the Danes take their foot off the pedal in Dublin next month.
Local media haven’t shied away from criticism of the current crop, even though Switzerland have been the standout side in the pool. Die Nati were enjoyable a seemingly unassailable 3-0 lead against Denmark in March before somehow shipping three goals in the final six minutes, whilst they dominated Ireland in Dublin before conceding a late leveller.
In Copenhagen at the weekend, Petkovic's posse were constantly thwarted by Danish keeper and Man of the Match Kasper Schmeichel before conceding late on and so Tuesday’s hosts are well aware that victory is almost imperative from this Geneva match-up. It’s unfathomable to imagine Ireland picking up maximum points so finding a pro-Swiss angle is advised.
Knowing the Republic’s bewildering regularity for frustrating teams, I’m more comfortable keeping the draw onside in a low-scoring contest and so the 4/5 (Bet365) available on Switzerland in the Double Chance market alongside Under 3 Goals looks the best solution. Here we’ll make money should the game end 0-0, 1-1, or in 1-0 or 2-0 home victories.
Both aforementioned selections present their own slice of value, but I’ll pin my match NAP colours to the slightly bigger price in the Asian Goals market. A huge 19 of Ireland's past 23 matches have seen the Under 2.25 Goals return profit.
Switzerland v Republic of Ireland– Under 2.25 Goals (5/6 BetVictor)