Wales team train ahead of their UEFA Nations League clash with Republic of Ireland

UEFA Nations League: Wales’ Clash with Ireland can Lead to League A

Wales vs Republic of Ireland

Wales welcome the Republic of Ireland to the Cardiff City Stadium in the next UEFA Nations League Group B4 clash, and a victory for the Dragons will open the door to promotion.

Stephen Kenny brings his Ireland side to Wales hoping to earn his first win as head coach, and to end a woeful run for the Irish, particularly in front of goal. The hosts are unbeaten in this season’s Nations League, picking up 10 points from four games which leaves them top of the group and a point ahead of Finland. In contrast the Irish are winless, and a point above bottom side Bulgaria with just two draws to show for their efforts.

The latest Wales vs Ireland betting odds back a home win, and at 20th in the FIFA World Rankings, 16 places above the Republic of Ireland, caretaker boss Rob Page should earn his first victory in the hot seat.

 

Talking Points

Will Bale push Wales over the line?

A depleted Wales side took on the USA on Thursday night and came away with a 0-0 draw, not a bad result against a dangerous opponent. They had to play without their boss, Ryan Giggs, on the touchline while he tries to sort out a personal problem, and without their two best creative players, Aaron Ramsay and Gareth Bale.

Ramsay was withdrawn from the squad by his club Juventus and so he won’t feature in this clash, but Bale could make an appearance, and if he plays a key role over the next two games he could push his team over the line to win promotion. The Tottenham winger missed Wales’ October matches because of a knee injury, but he’s back in the fold and Page reckons he looks happier now that he has left Real Madrid.

It’s not all about Bale though, and Page was encouraged by the efforts of his younger players against USA, saying: “I saw some attacks going forward but not nearly enough. We’re still learning the principles and how we want to hurt the opponents and take advantage of their weaknesses.” Schalke 04’s 20 year old striker, Rabbi Matondo caught the eye with his electrifying pace which had the US defence scampering.

But back to Bale, if he makes the starting 11 he is sure to write some UEFA nations League news headlines, whether he inspires his team on to a famous victory or is part of an unexpected failure. Wales’ only defeat in the last six games was a 3-0 reversal against England, just over a month ago, so Ireland must look to that game to take some inspiration.

UEFA Nations League update: Republic of Ireland footballer Alan Browne had coronavirus during match against England

Republic of Ireland’s Alan Browne in action against England

More COVID problems for shot shy Ireland

Ireland’s friendly match against England on Thursday night ended in the same 3-0 score line but, other than matching Wales in that respect, there wasn’t a lot for Kenny to be happy about. His team was blown away in the first half and the Three Lions visibly took their foot off the pedal in the second as they had one eye on a weekend clash with Belgium.

And there was more bad news for Kenny after the final whistle when Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne tested positive for coronavirus, so he is out of contention for the Nations League games to come. He played the full 90 minutes against England and that gives the boss another selection headache, after West Brom striker Callum Robinson tested positive for the disease last week.

Ireland’s biggest problem is in attack where they have failed to score a single goal in the last five games. On Thursday night, the Irish only managed four shots in the 90 minutes, two of them on target but neither testing the England keeper; and that needs too improve.

 

History

The head to head results have been fairly evenly shared; Wales have won two to Ireland’s three and there have been four draws, the last meeting being a turgid 0-0 stalemate in Dublin last month.

The visitors need a quick turnaround in fortunes to come away from Cardiff with anything; they have failed to win in seven attempts and lost the last three on the road, while Wales are unbeaten in eight at home.

 

Betting Tip

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Wales vs Republic of Ireland Total Goals 0-1 @ 2.03
November 16, 01:00 (GMT+8)

Of all the SBOTOP Nations League fixtures, this isn’t expected to provide the best entertainment or the most goals. This isn’t likely to be a classic though we can guarantee passion and guts.

Both teams have plenty to play for, the Welsh are hunting promotion while the Irish want a goal to give them confidence. But I’m going with the form and predicting a low scoring affair.

For a score line, 1-0 is the most likely at odds of 4.45 and 0-0 is at 5.03; neither outcome would raise any eyebrows.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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