Euro 2020 Qualifying Georgia v Republic of Ireland
Major domestic football leagues across Europe are sent back into hibernation, making way for the return of the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Many fans aren’t too happy about this as the likes of the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A are only warming up but there’s plenty to keep us busy this week.
Matches take place from Thursday afternoon and take us through to early next week. There are some interesting fixtures on the list, including England’s trip to main rivals the Czech Republic; Holland takes on Northern Ireland in what should be a thriller, Wales are expected to struggle in Slovakia and Scotland don’t have a lot to aim at in Moscow.
There’s another game worthy of our attention and that’s Georgia v Ireland which kicks off at 2.00pm on Saturday, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Bookmakers have had their say, pricing up several markets to give armchair fans the chance to boost their enjoyment of the 90 minutes ahead of us. Keep it simple and have your say on the winner of this game or push your luck and play one of the many specials. Flick through the markets and you’ll be spoiled for choice, with the likes of both teams to score, correct score, half time/full time, total goals and first goalscorer.
Mixed Bag for the Locals
After five games played, it has been a mixed bag of results for Georgia and they go into this home match with a record reading one win, one draw and no less than three defeats. That has them down in fourth place – second bottom with only Gibraltar worse off. Georgia got off to the worst possible start, losing each of their first two, but they were able to bounce back and save face by winning on their third appearance. A return to losing ways followed, which was to be expected but seemed to suck all the new-found enthusiasm out of the dressing room.
Georgia was last seen picking up a draw, battling to a goalless finish at home to Denmark. That point didn’t do much to save their fading chances of qualification, but it shouldn’t be easily dismissed as Denmark are a well-drilled and talented team. In all competitions the locals have drawn each of their last two, also holding on for a 2-2 away to Korea Rep in a September friendly. Would they accept another share of the spoils here? It’s likely and punters can back a share of the points at a decent 11/5 – best price offered by bet365. That makes more appeal than trusting the home win although the 3/1 at Unibet may just tempt one or two value hunters out there.
Ireland Aiming High
Visiting fans have had things much better than their opponents during this Euro 2020 qualifier and, at last count, it looks like the Irish could be well on their way to qualifying, possibly as Group D winners. They travel to this match with a record of three wins and two draws, resulting in 11 points. That has them two better than Denmark in second. Switzerland is third with eight points, but they have a game in hand and have won two and drawn two. There’s all to play for in this group and, at present, it looks like none of the three teams mentioned has the bottle to take the pool by the scruff of the neck.
There’s all to play for here but anything less than three points for Ireland would inflict real damage to their hopes of winning the group. The pressure is on Ireland, but they are on an unbeaten run with their last six made up of four wins and a couple of draws. ROI beat Bulgaria 3-1 in Dublin last time out and that helped boost confidence in the ranks. This reverse of this match ended in a 1-0 win for Ireland back in March. The away win is 23/20 with Ladbrokes. Another win to nil is there for those chasing a bigger pay-out. Ladbrokes offer 2/1 on that one and it’s a shade better than the 7/4 you’ll get with other major online bookmakers.