Republic of Ireland vs Greece recommended bets
Republic of Ireland vs Greece match preview
With both France and Netherlands also in Group C, neither of these two were ever likely to break into the top two spots, although both are still ultra-motivated to pick up three points in Dublin.
Back in June, it was Greece who prevailed 2-1 in the revere fixture at Agia Sophia Stadium.
Anastasios Bakasetas broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, only for Nathan Collins to pull Ireland level, although Georgios Masouras’ curler shortly after half time secured the points in Athens.
Aside fro, that, neither team has taken any points from any fixtures aside from those against Gibraltar, with Greece smashing the section’s minnows 5-0 last month, scoring 5+ in a game for the first time since 2009.
The Sky Blues and Whites have failed to qualify for each of the last four major tournaments and, even if they don’t qualify directly, they’ll get the chance to end this barren spell in March’s play-offs.
After this, Gus Poyet’s team conclude their campaign with games against the group’s two heavyweights, so will be targeting a victory here that could, even if only temporarily, propel Greece into second.
Republic of Ireland meantime have now lost four of five qualifiers in 2023, their sole victory coming at home to Gibraltar in June.
Last month, the Boys in Green were swatted aside 2-0 in Paris, before an agonising 2-1 home reverse against the Netherlands, despite taking the lead through Adam Idah’s fourth minute penalty in that one.
With Ireland unlikely to claim a play-off place via their Nations League ranking, supporters are losing faith in Stephen Kenny, with their team set to miss out on a fourth successive major tournament.
Ahead of this one, did you know that Greece are one of only six nations Ireland have faced more than once and never beaten, alongside Argentina, Mexico, Nigeria, Ukraine and Montenegro?
The Greek’s two previous visits to Dublin have both resulted in friendly wins, these coming in 2000 and 2012, so will the away side leave the Aviva Stadium with all three points?
Republic of Ireland team news
Captain Séamus Coleman is a long-term absentee, while James McClean has retired from international football, with November’s friendly against New Zealand set to be his farewell fixture.
One man who’s back is Evan Ferguson; he sat out the September games injured, but will lead the line here, seeking his third Ireland goal, having already netted against Latvia and Gibraltar in Dublin in 2023.
In defence, Liam Scales has been outstanding for Celtic this season, so could he make his senior international debut?
Chiedozie Ogbene has been excellent in defeat against France and the Dutch this year so, having started Premier League games for Luton recently, will start in attack, supporting Ferguson.
Predicted XI (3-4-2-1): Bazunu; Collins, O’Shea, Scales; Doherty, Browne, Cullen, Manning; Knight, Ogbene, Ferguson.
Greece team news
Georgios Masouras is Greece’s man to watch, having scored four goals in Euro qualifying so far, including the winner when Ireland visited Athens.
In goal, Odysseas Vlachodimos will remain the number one, despite the fact he’s yet to make his Nottingham Forest debut after joining on deadline day.
Konstantinos Mavropanos of West Ham and Liverpool’s Kostas Tsimikas are also key players at international level, despite only seeing sporadic club minutes.
Vangelis Pavlidis continues to get the nod over Giorgos Giakoumakis in attack, despite the fact the latter has scored 15 goals in MLS this season.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Vlachodimos; Rota, Retsos, Mavropanos, Tsimikas; Bouchalakis, Pelkas, Bakasetas; Masouras, Pavlidis, Fountas.