Azerbaijan welcome Republic of Ireland to Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan, as the Irish look to keep their qualification dreams afloat in Group A.
Victory for Azerbaijan will see them move off the foot of Group A at Ireland’s expense, whereas Stephen Kenny’s Ireland can move four points clear of Azerbaijan with a win but stay fourth.
Azerbaijan have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad available for selection, containing the same players who were available for last month’s 1-1 draw against Ireland in Dublin.
Republic of Ireland also have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad available for selection, although Seamus Coleman (hamstring) and Dara O’Shea are absent after suffering injuries during last month’s international fixtures.
- Azerbaijan drew their only previous meeting against Republic of Ireland, having been held 1-1 in Dublin last month.
- Republic of Ireland are visiting Azerbaijan for the very first time.
- Azerbaijan are winless in their last ten home matches in all competitions (D4, L6).
- Ireland have won just one of their last five away matches in all competitions (W1, D2, L2).
- This is the first match involving Azerbaijan and Republic of Ireland to be refereed by Espen Eskas.
Having been eliminated from qualification contention last month, Azerbaijan can come into this match absolutely fearless with their stubborn defence plus a strong danger man in Emin Mahmudov who will certainly be their key goal threat.
Ireland meanwhile know that anything other than a win would completely extinguish all hopes of qualifying for the Play-Offs but with the team having made progress last month, this is going to be a huge test of where the club currently stands because they will be favourites here after dominating last month’s clash.
This game on that note should certainly be one of intrigue because both teams will certainly be having their eyes on Euro 2024 preparations now, although Ireland should have enough quality in them to scrape a win if can produce a better performance than they did at home last month.
Prediction: Azerbaijan 0-1 ROI
Result: Azerbaijan 0-3 ROI