MATCH PROTEND

Wales will have an excellent opportunity of potentially sealing their place at the top of Group 4 in League B when they lock horns with Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday. They are currently topping the group table with ten points and a win this weekend could seal their place at the top if second-placed Finland fail to secure all three points against Bulgaria on the same day.

The hosts are heading into this game on the back of a goalless draw with the young USMNT side on Wednesday. It was a good run in for Robert Page’s men, who faced a strong challenge against the youth exuberance and athleticism of their of rivals across the Atlantic. However, things could be a lot trickier when they face an Ireland side, who are much more experienced at the international stage.

The Irishmen didn’t have the best of starts to their international window so far, slumping to a 3-0 defeat to England in a friendly on Thursday. It was a game where Stephen Kenny’s men were completely outclassed as they failed to contain an English attack that was brimming with quality and talent.

But while it was only a friendly, the stakes could be a lot higher on Sunday when the Republic of Ireland take on Wales on Sunday. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this exciting contest at the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend.

Kick off? 

10:30 AM IST – November 15

Being played? 

Cardiff City Stadium

Head-to-Head

TeamWalesRepublic of Ireland
Played77
Win31
Draw33
Lose13

Form guide:

Wales Nations League form: WWDW
Wales form (all competitions): WWLDWD

Republic of Ireland Nations League form: LDDLDL
Republic of Ireland form (all competitions): DLLDLL

Team News

Kieffer Moore was brought into Wales’s starting lineup against USA in one of nine changes and was surprisingly given more than an hour.

The Cardiff City striker is the hosts’ only recognised striker and will therefore almost certainly start on Sunday, unless Page decides to put his own spin on things following last month’s stalemate between the sides in Dublin.

Gareth Bale will be back involved after sitting out Thursday’s friendly, but fellow key man Aaron Ramsey is not part of the squad.

With Wayne Hennessey and Adam Davies both nursing injuries, third-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward will start in goal for the second game running.

As for the Republic of Ireland, Seamus Coleman missed the England game with a hamstring problem, only adding to Kenny’s injury woes as Enda Stevens was also absent.

Having had a batch of coronavirus-related withdrawals last month, the Boys in Green lost Callum Robinson ahead of the Wembley trip after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Alan Browne has also since tested positive, but he is not believed to have been in close contact with any other players or backroom staff members.

Aaron Connolly is the other fitness doubt, with Kenny expected to make changes in Cardiff.

Key Stats

  • Wales did the double over the Irish in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League.
  • The Boys in Green last defeated the Dragons in 2017, a FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture in Cardiff that ended in a 1-0 win for the visitors.
  • These two teams have met 18 times in official competitions, with Wales winning seven times compared to the Republic of Ireland’s record of six wins and five draws.
  • Their previous encounter resulted in a goalless draw at Ireland.
  • The hosts have been unbeaten in the recent three overall clashes.

Predicted XI

Wales Predicted XI (4-3-3): Ward; Roberts, Rodon, Lawrence, Gunter; Smith, Levitt; Bale, Wilson, James; Moore

Republic of Ireland Predicted XI (4-3-1-2): Randolph; Christie, Duffy, O’Shea, Doherty; Molumby, Hourihane; McClean, Hendrick, Brady; Idah

THE PREDICTION

Wales 0-0 Republic of Ireland

This could turn out to be yet another cagey affair for Wales, who, despite lacking incision going forward, have shown a lot of solidity in defence. We are expecting a goalless draw at the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend.

Our Dream 11 Pick

Goalkeeper:

Defenders:

Midfielders:

Strikers:

Captain:

ViceCaptain:

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