Ireland will host Serbia at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on Tuesday, September 7, in the fifth round of play in Group A of World Cup 2022 Qualifications. Serbia won the reverse fixture at home with 3-2 and have since risen to the top of Group A, where they will want to stay after tonight’s match.
Ireland vs Serbia
When: Tuesday, September 7– 19:45 IST
Where: Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland
Weather: Sunny, 18°C
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez (SPA)
Ireland and Serbia will clash on Tuesday, September 7, in the fifth round of Group A action at World Cup 2022 Qualifiers. These two nations last met in March, when Serbia edged out a 3-2 victory on home soil, having since won two and drew one game, and now sit comfortably atop of group.
Ireland’s journey through the qualifiers was the polar opposite, seeing how they have managed only one point from the remaining three bouts, having lost two and drew one fixture against Azerbaijan. With her chances of making it out of the group slim to none, Ireland will hope that the home ground advantage will be enough to make some noise and at least spoil Serbia’s plans, but can they do it?
Key Players Out For Ireland
Ireland will miss several key players tonight. That includes Shane Long, Ciaran Clark, Seamus Coleman, Robbie Brady, Darren Randolph, and Seamus Coleman. That alone is a huge problem, and it doesn’t help that Stephen Kenny doesn’t have the deepest squad to work with.
Ireland enter this match with a disastrous 1-4-5 record across their last 10 outings and a 1-3-1 across their last five. During that stretch, the Boys in Green won against Andorra (4-1), lost against Portugal (1-2), and drew with Qatar (1-1), Hungary (0-0), and most recently Azerbaijan (1-1), who stole a point at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Perhaps it would be fairer to say that it was Ireland who stole a point, seeing how they have managed to equalise in the 87th minute via Shane Duffy. Still, Ireland had shown more on the day, so it’s not like they didn’t deserve at least one point.
How highly can you value a draw against Azerbaijan is up to debate, but it’s definitely not something to write home about, knowing that it was Azerbaijan’s first draw of the qualifiers, having already lost to all other Group A teams – including Luxembourg (1-2).
Serbian Strikers in Hot Form
Serbia enters this match as the Group A leaders. They have managed a solid 3-1-0 record, which ties them with Portugal in points (10 pts), albeit the Eagles boast a better GD (+5).
Interestingly, Serbian solid GD isn’t exactly a product of their defence, which has leaked six goals in four games, but instead their impressive attacking line. Across four games, Serbia have scored 11 goals and six in their last two outings against Azerbaijan (2-1) and Luxembourg (4-1).
The Eagles’ remaining two World Cup 2022 qualifiers matches have ended in a 2-2 draw against Portugal and the aforementioned 3-2 win against Ireland.
Talking about strikers, Aleksandar Mitrovic is listed as doubtful; however, we expect him to step onto the pitch. He has been the main engine behind Serbia’s deadly attack, having scored seven goals in his last four starts and has found the back of the net twice against Luxembourg.
Centre back Matija Nastasic joins the list of players that are doubtful to start, having picked up a nock. Outside of the two, Dragan Stokkovic doesn’t have any other concerns to deal with.
Ireland vs Serbia Betting Pick
Ireland and Serbia are two teams that are trending in opposite directions. Ireland have managed only one win in their last 10, while Serbia accumulated five, three of which happened across their last five outings.
Besides their loss against Japan (0-1) in a friendly match in June, Serbia are undefeated across their last 11 outings. Even on the road, the Eagles have done relatively well, managing a 4-4-2 record – with their only two road losses coming against Russia (1-3) in September 2020 and the aforementioned defeat against Japan.
Serbia have better players, are in better form and usually do well on the road. Ireland will miss key players, are in terrible shape, and haven’t won a home game in their last six attempts.
Prediction: Serbia to win – 2.06 at Sportmarket