Republic of Ireland welcome Group A leaders, Serbia, to Aviva Stadium, Dublin, as their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying continues.
Victory would see Ireland stay fourth ahead of Azerbaijan, whereas Serbia can stay top of the group with a win unless Portugal win elsewhere and can outscore the Serbians.
Seamus Coleman is ruled out for Republic of Ireland after suffering an injury in Saturday’s draw against Azerbaijan.
Cyrus Christie has been called up to replace Coleman who joins Dara O’Shea on the injury list, after O’Shea withdrew with a knee injury suffered in last week’s away defeat to Portugal.
Serbia have no major injury concerns but Aleksandr Mitrovic is a minor doubt, despite suffering a cheekbone injury in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Luxembourg.
- Republic of Ireland are winless in three World Cup qualifiers against Serbia (D1, L2).
- Serbia are unbeaten in three previous trips to Republic of Ireland across all competitions (W2, D1).
- Both teams have scored at least twice in two of their last three meetings, albeit in Belgrade with Serbia avoiding defeats on both of those occasions (W1, D1).
- Ireland’s last two goals have been scored by defenders as Shane Duffy rescued a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan on Saturday, whilst John Egan put Ireland ahead against Portugal last Wednesday.
- Seven of Serbia’s 11 goals in this World Cup Qualifying group have been scored by Aleksandr Mitrovic, who netted braces in three of four matches.
Following a disappointing draw at home to Azerbaijan on Saturday, Republic of Ireland really need to sort themselves out because their performances frankly haven’t been good enough for a while now and to sit five points behind Luxembourg is simply unacceptable.
Stephen Kenny’s remarks about his long-term vision of Euro 2024 also doesn’t help because it feels like he has already given up on this World Cup qualifying campaign, which doesn’t do any good for the squad morale because a good chunk of the current team will be past their prime years in three years time.
Serbia meanwhile look in excellent nick performance wise in contrast with four goals in each of their last two matches, which will give them plenty of confidence coming into this game. to try and get a win to stay top of this group.
In fact in all honesty, I just can’t see a home win here although they should make a decent fist of this game.
Prediction: ROI 1-3 Serbia
Result: ROI 1-1 Serbia