Ireland vs Azerbaijan Preview 04/09/2021
The 2022 World Cup qualifiers continue this weekend and on the 4th of September we have a meeting between Republic of Ireland and Azerbaijan.
The match will take place at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, with the hosts in 4th place, yet to get off the mark and the visitors bottom of the group, also without a point to their name.
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) September 3, 2021
Republic of Ireland come into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat against group leaders Portugal on Wednesday night in Faro. Republic of Ireland performed well for much of the match, especially in defence and opened the scoring with a header from a corner just before half time.
Republic of Ireland were put under pressure in the second half but looked as though they had seen out the job to claim a famous win.
Unfortunately for the Irish, Cristiano Ronaldo has other ideas. Despite having missed a penalty in the first half, the Manchester United forward delivered the goods, scoring two excellent headers in the 89th and 96 minutes to claim maximum points for the Portuguese.
It was a devastating blow for Republic of Ireland who must try and lift themselves for this game. They have been on a poor run of results and Republic of Ireland have failed to win any of their last 14 competitive fixtures. They have recently tasted defeat at home against Luxembourg and Finland plus held to a draw by Bulgaria.
Trend show Republic of Ireland have seen under 2.5 goals in each of their last 5 home games.
Azerbaijan travelled to Luxembourg on Wednesday night and came away with a 2-1 defeat. Luxembourg opened the scoring after only 8 minutes and doubled their advantage from the penalty spot 20 minutes later. Azerbaijan managed to pull a goal back in the 67th minute but could not find the equalising goal.
That result means Azerbaijan have lost their 3 previous fixtures in the group, going down 1-0 in Portugal and 2-1 at home against Serbia.
Azerbaijan have failed to win any of their last 7 competitive fixtures and you must go back to the 1-0 win over Cyprus in the Nations League to find the last time they won a competitive international. Away from shows Azerbaijan have won only one of their last 9 matches, including friendly games.
Looking ahead to the team news and Republic of Ireland may choose to go with the same starting XI from Wednesday night. However, Andrew Omobamidele may have to start the game in defence in place of the injured Dara O’Shea.
Azerbaijan could make a few changes to their starting XI. Namik Ələsgərov, Mahir Emreli, and Anton Krivotsyuk all came on at the beginning of the second half against Luxembourg and may get an opportunity from the start.
This is a hugely important game for both teams as they aim for a confidence boosting victory. Ireland have the advantage of playing at home and it could be that which makes the difference. We do not expect to see many goals in this game and Ireland could come out on top, with a narrow 1-0 win.