Thursday 5 September: 7.45pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
The Republic of Ireland missed out on the 2018 World Cup but have made it to the last two European Championships. They have made a good start to their Euro 2020 qualifying group but have some tough games lying ahead of them. That all starts with a home match against Switzerland who have games in hand on the Irish after their European Nations League adventures.
After four games, the Republic of Ireland are top of Group D. They have done just about everything that has been asked of them so far. 10 points from four games sees them go into this match against Switzerland with a five-point lead over old rivals Denmark, who have a game in hand on the Irish. Switzerland are in third (the top two automatically qualify for the finals) with four points but have two games in hand.
Ireland are the third favourites to win this group. They can be backed at odds of 9/2 (5.5) at SkyBet but those odds will change dramatically if the Irish side can beat Switzerland in this match.
They began this group, desperate to qualify having missed out on the 2018 World Cup finals. Ireland got close but lost to Denmark in the play-offs. This campaign got off to a bit of a dodgy start as they struggled past minnows Gibraltar 1-0. Three points was all that mattered though for the Irish side.
Next up, the Republic of Ireland hosted Georgia. It was another tense game but they ran out 1-0 winners to make it two wins out of two. Their toughest game to date was the away game at Denmark. Ireland had seen the Danes put five past them in that World Cup play-off but a late goal earned them a vital point. It’s 21/10 (3.1) at Paddy Power that this game against Switzerland ends level.
Ireland made it ten points out of 12 with a 2-0 home win over Gibraltar. They have only lost one of their last six home games with just two goals conceded. Not since 2010 have they lost a home European Championship qualifier. The last five have all been won and without a goal being conceded. The odds on an Irish win to nil are 11/5 (3.2) at BetVictor.
Switzerland have only played two games in this group. They have games in hand due to their participation in the European Nations League finals, where they finished fourth. Their two matches in this group have seen them get a 2-0 win away in Georgia and then came a now legendary match at home to Denmark.
The Swiss were smiling as they led 3-0 with just six minutes remaining. Incredibly, the game ended 3-3 with a 93rd minute equalizer. Any fans leaving early had a massive shock when told the final score. It’s 4/1 (5.0) at Betway on this match being a draw with both teams scoring.
With an away game in Dublin followed by a home match against Gibraltar, Switzerland will be looking for at least four points. They have a good record in qualifying groups in recent years. Switzerland have reached the last four World Cups and three of the last four European Championships. They can be backed at 1/1 (2.0) to win this group. Only one of their last ten away Euro qualifiers have been lost and that was against England four years ago.
The Republic of Ireland have won five of their last seven home games against Switzerland. A bet at Ladbrokes on a home win in this game has odds of 27/10 (3.7).
Ireland are without James McCarthy, Keiren Westwood, Matt Doherty and Sean Maguire for this qualifier against Switzerland.
Low Scoring Affair?
The last four games played between these two countries have all had under 2.5 goals scored in them. That stat has come up in each of the last nine Ireland internationals. Can that number become ten? There are odds of 1/2 (1.5) at Betfair on under 2.5 goals in this match.
This should be a closely fought game and a win would do Ireland’s qualification hopes the power of good. Switzerland are a difficult team to beat. The odds on a draw with under 2.5 goals scored has odds of 4/1 (5.0) at Bet365.