After Portugal’s brutal defeat, before visiting Azerbaijan on Saturday, September 4, the Republic of Ireland is still looking for victory in World Cup qualifiers. After three matches the boys are fourth in the Green A, and only keep them away from their next Azerbaijani opponents with zero points. The Republic of Ireland-Azerbaijan kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Republic of Ireland-Azerbaijan Pre-match: Where are the two teams?
Republic of Ireland
Thanks to some of the heroism of teenager Gavin Basanu’s goalkeepers, Ireland were on their way to a famous victory over Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo is one step ahead. The Manchester United striker scored two goals in the 89th and 96th minutes to break the Irish hearts and men’s international goal record. The defeat put Stephen Kenny’s men in a position to win against Azerbaijan. The loss to Minnesota in Luxembourg last season will be considered one of Ireland’s worst in five home games. In fact, Kenny’s team has not even been able to score in their last four games, so the pressure is right now to get things right on Saturday.
Time is running out for the Azerbaijan campaign, which suffered a 2-1 defeat in Luxembourg on Wednesday. Within half an hour, Mika Pinto and Jerson Rodriguez led Luxembourg with two goals, while Emin Mahmoudov pulled one back, while Gianni de Beazzy’s men were not enough. The 112th country in the world has lost to Portugal, Serbia and Luxembourg, winning all their last 12 games. Azerbaijan have won just one of their last 26 matches and lost each of their last nine, so this is a great opportunity for Ireland to score.
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Dara Ozia may be forced to make a few changes to Ireland on Saturday after considering leaving the injured pitch in Algarve. Norwich City defender Andrew Omobamidel has been selected for his international debut and could make his debut in Ireland’s first meeting with Azerbaijan. In the second of three qualifying matches in a week, Kenny will look to turn his team around slightly, with midfielders James McLean and Connor Howrihan recalling. For the visitors, the clearly disgruntled de Beasley was a triple substitute at half-time on Wednesday, two goals away from Luxembourg. The players who were introduced were Mahir Emreli, Anton Kryvotsyuk and Namik Alasgarov, so they can be considered for a start in Dublin. Captain Mahmoudov is sure to start once again in midfield, scoring two of his country’s goals in this qualifying campaign from a total of three shots. Ali Ghorbani’s goals are low and could be dropped if the Azerbaijan changes form from the 5-3-2 he used last time.
Republic of Ireland-Azerbaijan
Republic of Ireland
ബസുനു; Omobamidel, Duffy, Egan; Coleman, Hendrick, Dwarf, Doherty; Molambi, Connolly; Ida
Mahammadaliyev; Husseinov, Hughvardi, Medvedev, Salahli, Byramov; Ibrahim, Nooriv, Emreli, Mahmudov; Ozobic
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