Ireland can succeed where Scotland failed against Georgia
Scotland slipped up on the banana skin that is Georgia on Friday and Ireland will have to tread warily to make sure they don’t suffer the same fate when Kakhaber Tskhadadze’s team turn up at the Aviva Stadium this Monday.
Tskhadadze took over from Temuri Ketsbaia midway through their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and was delighted to see his side record only their second win in Group D against the Scots just before the weekend.
You could argue that Georgia are in a false position in the group. They’ve little hope of qualifying after a disastrous start but could yet act as spoilers. Their defence never really gave Scotland a sight of goal and, if it hadn’t have been for a late moment of magic from Aiden McGeady, they would have held Ireland to a draw in Tbilisi a year ago.
Friday’s romp against Gibraltar on the Algarve told us little about the current form of the Irish – any half-decent Conference team would give Gibraltar plenty to think about – but record scorer Robbie Keane was able to add a couple more to his collection while there was a scoring debut from Derby’s Cyrus Christie. But the full-back could find himself back on the bench for the game against Georgia if Everton’s Seamus Coleman recovers from a tight hamstring.
Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane have been waiting for the Scots to slip up in the race for a play-off place and, though there are still important games to play, they will be urging their side to press home their narrow advantage against Georgia.
A tense 90 minutes in high temperatures in Tbilisi may have taken something out of the visitors. Ireland enjoyed little more than a stroll against Gibraltar and should have higher energy levels – they can enhance their good record against Georgia at 8/15. Ireland to win by two in our Winning Margins market is 31/10.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Monday, September 7th at the Aviva Stadium
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