Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Preview: Republic of Ireland vs. Switzerland – prediction, team news, lineups

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Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s friendly clash between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Following goalless draws in their first March friendlies, the Republic of Ireland and Euro 2024-bound Switzerland will meet in Dublin on Tuesday.

Ireland emerged with a creditable result from their weekend game against Belgium, while their Swiss counterparts held Denmark in Copenhagen.


Match preview

© Reuters

Without a permanent manager and having failed to make much impression in European Championship qualifying, the Republic of Ireland were not expected to prevail in Saturday’s friendly against a Belgium side unbeaten since the World Cup.

Beginning a brief spell under caretaker coach John O’Shea, who has been joined by former Ireland manager Brian Kerr in the Aviva Stadium dugout, the Boys in Green not only restricted their higher-ranked opponents to very few chances, but they could even have snatched a morale-boosting victory.

Teenage striker Evan Ferguson saw his tame penalty saved by Matz Sels during the first half, but a competitive performance at least showed signs of life following a dismal end to Stephen Kenny‘s three-and-a-half-year reign.

That era concluded with November’s home draw against New Zealand, and the Republic have now won just two of their last 10 matches – both against Gibraltar.

Having finished 12 points adrift of the top two in Group B of the Euro 2024 qualifiers, their last UEFA Nations League performance was also insufficient for a playoff place.

Until a new boss is finally appointed, O’Shea has been tasked with preparing the squad for next season’s Nations League campaign, when – after a pair of summertime friendlies – England, Greece and Finland will be Ireland’s League B opponents.

Switzerland's Ruben Vargas celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 15, 2023© Reuters

Beginning their build-up to this summer’s Euros in neighbouring Germany, Switzerland faced the formidable challenge of playing Denmark at Parken on Saturday, when the Danes were defending a long unbeaten record on home turf.

Die Nati were ultimately unable to end their hosts’ streak, but a close-fought goalless draw at least ended a run of nine games without keeping an away clean sheet.

At the end of last year, Switzerland reached their fifth continental finals in six, after finishing as Group I runners-up, but coach Murat Yakin has drawn criticism for both his management style and a worrying decline in results.

The Swiss finished behind unfancied Romania following a last-day defeat, and Yakin has presided over just one win in eight games since a 3-0 defeat of Andorra last September.

Six of those fixtures finished all-square, but failing to beat the likes of Israel, Belarus and Kosovo suggests improvement is required if they are to progress from a group featuring Scotland, Hungary and hosts Germany this summer.

Republic of Ireland friendly form:

Republic of Ireland form (all competitions):

Switzerland friendly form:

Switzerland form (all competitions):


Team News

Republic of Ireland's Evan Ferguson celebrates scoring their second goal with Troy Parrott on June 19, 2023© Reuters

After his first team selection as temporary manager was a relative success, John O’Shea may not make too many changes on Tuesday evening.

Although Matt Doherty and Festy Ebosele are vying for a place on Ireland’s right flank, captain Seamus Coleman made a successful return following injury and could start again.

Blackburn Rovers striker Sammie Szmodics – the Championship’s 21-goal top scorer – finally made his international debut on Saturday, and he may again support Evan Ferguson up front; Chiedozie Ogbene has picked up a knock so misses out.

Troy Parrott and Liam Scales previously had to withdraw from the squad, but Ryan Manning and Under-21 players Joe Hodge and Andy Moran have been called up as cover.

Meanwhile, Switzerland have a goalkeeping issue to resolve, as Yann Sommer suffered an ankle injury in Denmark and was replaced by Lorient stopper Yvon Mvogo; Borussia Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel has already left the squad to receive treatment back in Germany.

Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji is also sidelined, and long-term absentee Breel Embolo remains unavailable.

AC Milan striker Noah Okafor partnered Ruben Vargas in attack last weekend. The latter is now ruled out by injury, so Zeki Amdouni and Servette winger Dereck Kutesa are among those pushing for selection.

Republic of Ireland possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Omobamidele, Collins, O’Brien; Coleman, Cullen, Smallbone, Manning; Knight, Szmodics; Ferguson

Switzerland possible starting lineup:
Mvogo; Elvedi, Schar, Rodriguez; Ndoye, Xhaka, Freuler, Aebischer, Steffen; Okafor, Amdouni


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We say: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Switzerland

The Republic of Ireland have won only one of their last seven games against Switzerland, as the two nations have headed in different directions over recent years. However, the Boys in Green stood firm against Belgium and could now capitalise on this Swiss side’s shortcomings.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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