UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE: Wales v Republic of Ireland
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Wales vs Republic of Ireland, UEFA Nations League, Thursday 6th September
Cardiff City Stadium, Kick-off: 19:45
– 3 wins in last 6 for ROI vs Wales
– Wales have failed to score in 5 of their last 6 meetings
– Wales without a win since 1992, in an International Friendly
– Ireland won 1-0 in Wales in their last meeting in a World Cup Qualifier
– Wales and ROI in their UNL group with Denmark
Despite their loss to Ireland in last year’s World Cup Qualifiers, Wales coach Ryan Giggs has insisted that revenge is not the narrative coming into Thursday’s UEFA Nations League match in Cardiff. 1-0 was the final score when these two met last October, with Ireland subsequently going on to lose in the playoffs for a spot in Russia; a lot less is on the line this time around, however, we get our first peak at how the home nations will tackle this new Nations League format.
Squad news sees a return for Paul Dummett into the International set up for Wales after a three-year absence. Gareth Bale is also expected to feature in attack for the home side, with Ashley Williams retaining the captaincy at the back. Ireland have a few injury concerns to overcome. Shane Long, James McCarthy and Robbie Brady are notable absentees for the travelling squad as they look to build on a positive World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Goals have suffered in meetings between these two sides in the past, and with Ireland failing to score in their last three away fixtures we may have to endure a cagey start to this fixture. Wales appear to have the stronger squad depth on paper, and with Ryan Giggs looking to get his competitive record off to a positive start at the Welsh helm, you have to favour the home side. Bale has been in scintillating form for Real Madrid, and often relishes the chance to play back in front of a home crowd.
Looking at Wales’ over 2.5 goals stats is quite astonishing. Only once in the last thirteen games featuring Wales have there been over 2.5 goals – this being a 6-0 mauling of China in Giggs’ first match as manager. This, coupled with Ireland’s injury woes in the attacking third, lends us to back the unders market on Thursday. Wales may sneak a win, with both teams to score looking unlikely as well.
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Wales v Republic of Ireland @ 3/1
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Freelance sports writer, sports data analyst and content creator; Lewis has provided some of the biggest names in the betting industry with written content and betting tips over the past seven years. Specialising in football, boxing, and darts, his eye for detail – as well as value – has seen him yield a significant profit as BetVictor's darts tipster. Lewis co-authored the Football Advisor World Cup Stats Betting Pack