Ace Football previews the UEFA Nations League match between Wales and the Republic of Ireland, and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
Ireland head to the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday evening for another Nations League match against Wales.
Eight points separate the two sides in the Group B4 table ahead of the clash. Wales are in first-place, having collected 10 out of a possible 12 points from their four fixtures. Ireland, on the other hand, are winless on a mere two points.
It will also be the sixth time in three years these teams have met, with Wales losing just once. The hosts have proven tough to beat recently, but Ireland have a point to prove and don’t intend to make life easy.
Wales Form & Stats
Ryan Giggs has stepped down from his managerial duties following his recent arrest for a reported assault. In his absence, Wales settled for an underwhelming 0-0 friendly draw against the United States midweek.
But while Rob Page’s debut as interim manager proved to be a low-key affair, he extended the Dragons’ impressive run of form of one defeat in just 12 games across all competitions (W7 D4). The top priority, however, will be on restoring their spark in front of the goal.
Wales have scored just three goals in their last five games, with each of them coming in the last 10 minutes. They’ve also hit a blank in three of those fixtures and haven’t hit more than one goal since a 2-0 win over Hungary on November 2019.
But as Finland sit just a point behind in the standings in second, Wales need to ensure all three points against Ireland to stay top ahead of Wednesday’s group finale against their Finnish rivals in Cardiff.
Key Team Stats
- Lost just one of their last 12 games in all competitions (W7 D4).
- Not conceded any goals in their four Nations League games.
- Kept seven clean sheets in their last eight games in all competitions.
- Scored just two goals in their last five games in all competitions.
Republic of Ireland Form & Stats
Promotion to League A is out of the equation for Ireland, with the sole objective now being to avoid relegation into League C for the 2022/23 campaign. They sit just a point above bottom-placed side Bulgaria in third in Group B4.
Although the Boys in Green aren’t in the best run of forms, having failed to win since beating New Zealand 3-1 in a friendly back in November 2019 (P7 D3 L4). In fact, they’ve never won a Nations League match before now.
After a 3-0 friendly defeat to England midweek, manager Stephen Kenny called up four players in midfielders Jason Knight and Josh Cullen along with defenders Darragh Lenihan and Ciaran Clark. Jack Byrne and Ryan Manning have also joined.
These changes came following the injury setbacks to Seamus Coleman, John Egan, and Harry Arter. While Callum Robinson and Alan Browne have both tested positive for COVID-19.
Key Team Stats
- Winless in their eight Nations League games (D4 L4).
- Winless in their last seven games in all competitions (D3 L4).
- Won just one of their last 14 away games in all competitions (D6 L7).
- Scored just one goal in their last five games in all competitions.
Goalkeepers: Danny Ward, Owain Fon Williams, Chris Gunter
Defenders: Neco Williams, Ben Davies, Ethan Ampadu, Connor Roberts, James Lawrence, Chris Mepham, Joe Rodon, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Tom Lockyer.
Midfielders: Daniel James, Jonny Williams, Dylan Levitt, Harry Wilson, Matthew Smith, Joe Morrell, Brennan Johnson, Josh Sheehan, David Brooks.
Forwards: Gareth Bale, Tyler Roberts, Tom Lawrence, Kieffer Moore, Rabbi Matondo.
Republic of Ireland
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Caoimhin Kelleher, Mark Travers.
Defenders: Matt Doherty, Kevin Long, Shane Duffy, Dara O’Shea, Cyrus Christie, Ciaran Clark, Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Manning.
Midfielders: Conor Hourihane, Jeff Hendrick, Jayson Molumby, Robbie Brady, Jack Byrne, Jason Knight, Josh Cullen.
Forwards: James McClean, Adam Idah, James Collins, Ronan Curtis, Callum O’Dowda, Daryl Horgan, Sean Maguire.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Goalscorers in Recent Games
Wales and Ireland have faced each other 18 times previously since September 1960. The hosts have won seven times, drawn five, and lost on six occasions.
Below are the five most recent meetings and some head-to-head stats on the team’s recent form in the Nations League.
|24/03/2017||Republic of Ireland vs Wales||0-0||World Cup|
|09/10/2017||Wales vs Republic of Ireland||0-1||World Cup|
|06/09/2018||Wales vs Republic of Ireland||4-1||Nations League|
|16/10/2018||Republic of Ireland vs Wales||0-1||Nations League|
|11/10/2020||Republic of Ireland vs Wales||0-0||Nations League|