On Thursday night, the Republic of Ireland host Switzerland in Group D of qualifying for Euro 2020. The game is a massive one, as both teams are expected to compete for the top spot in the group.
Republic of Ireland (Odds to win 14/5 for victory)
Ireland have made a promising start to their qualification campaign, as they currently sit atop of Group D. Mick McCarthy’s team have taken ten points from a possible 12 in the group, having recorded three wins and a draw.
The decent results in their opening four matches have seen them move five points clear of second-place Denmark and six clear of the visitors in the race for top spot. However, the home side has played more games than the second and third-place teams.
Ireland have a good recent record in the international game, as they are unbeaten in six matches, having conceded just once in the run. Another positive for the home team is that they are unbeaten in six European Championship qualifiers, having recorded four wins and two draws.
Ireland also have a strong recent record on home soil when it comes to European Championship qualifiers, as they have won their last five matches, keeping clean sheets in all five wins. They are underdogs for victory, but they will certainly not be easy opponents for the visitors.
Switzerland (Odds of 6/5 for victory)
Switzerland head into this qualifier on the back of finishing fourth in the Nations League after suffering a penalty defeat against England after losing the semi-final 3-1 against Portugal.
Due to their participation in the Nations League, Switzerland have played just two qualifiers, winning 2-0 at Georgia and drawing 3-3 on home soil against Denmark. Despite the points deficit, Vladimir Petkovic’s side will still be confident of finishing top of the group.
The visitors have a good recent record in qualifying for the European Championships, as they have won eight of their last ten qualifiers. They are also unbeaten in four qualifiers, having recorded three wins. Switzerland have also been relatively prolific in qualifiers, scoring at least twice in three of their last four games.
The Swiss have also been difficult to beat on their travels in qualifying of late, as they have won four of their previous five games on the road. Their recent away qualifiers have been low-scoring with under 2.5 goals scored in their last three away matches.
While Switzerland are favourites with the bookmakers, this is not an easy game to predict. The visitors look to have superior quality in their squad, but Ireland will be tough opponents, especially at the Aviva Stadium.
McCarthy’s team are well organised and will not give the visitors much space to operate in. We can see this being a very tight encounter. The draw is looking like a fine bet at odds of 9/4. The under 2.5 goals at odds of 19/40 does offer much value but is likely to produce a return on your wager.
Verdict: Back the draw at odds of 9/4 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 19/40 (all odds taken from Bet365)
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