Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy begins his second spell in charge of the country for which he played 57 times on Saturday evening, with what should be a straightforward trip to face the minnows of Gibraltar. Teams can often trips to places like Gibraltar a frustrating experience, however, and McCarthy needs to remind his players about the dangers of complacency. He will be helped in that regard by the fact that the players in his squad will want to impress the new manager, and stake claims to be regular starters in his team.
Gibraltar would surely be over the moon if they got a point from this game, and will set out to frustrate the Irish. They will also take inspiration from their recent Nations League campaign, when they beat Armenia 1-0 away from home, and also overcame Lichtenstein 2-1 in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar vs Republic of Ireland Prediction: Gibraltar 0-2 Ireland
Our prediction for this game is that the away side will win pretty comfortably, though not perhaps as emphatically as they would have liked. Games like this are often tough for middle ranking teams like the Republic of Ireland. It can be hard to find motivation to play against a team of semi-pros and amateurs, and the game itself can often be a frustrating experience for the stronger side. We expect Gibraltar to line up to frustrate the Irish, who will surely dominate possession. Clear-cut chances are often hard to come by in games like this too.
Our recommended tip: Ireland 2-0
Our featured tip for this game comes from Betway, who are offering a price of 19/4 on the Republic of Ireland winning the game 2-0. Obviously, this matches our prediction for how the game will turn out. The odds on offer also provide punters with some reasonable value compared to many of the other markets on offer for this match. Given the disparity in quality between the teams, the odds are a little distorted for this game, with most Gibraltar options being very, very long, and most of the markets favouring Ireland being extremely short in terms of the prices on offer.
These two sides have met on two previous occasions, with both of those games being European Championship qualifiers. The first game was in October 2014 in Dublin. The Irish won the game comfortably, triumphing 7-0. Robbie Keane scored a first-half hat trick for the Irish, with James McClean bagging a brace of goals too.
The second meeting came later in that same qualifying campaign, with the two sides meeting in Gibraltar in September 2015. It was another comfortable win for the Irish that night, with the final score this time being 4-0 in their favour.
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Players to watch: George Cabrera & Matt Doherty
George Cabrera is Gibraltar’s main striker. The 30-year-old scored one of his team’s two goals in their win over Lichtenstein in the UEFA Nations League last October. He was deployed that day as a lone striker in a 4-1-4-1 formation, which will probably be the shape the team uses against the Irish. The goal against Lichtenstein was the first international goal in eight caps for the Lincoln Red Imps man.
Wolverhampton Wanderers fullback Matt Doherty has been called up by new boss McCarthy, and the 27-year-old is hoping to play more often for his country under the new manager than he did under Martin O’Neill. Doherty has previously worked with McCarthy at Wolves and has stated that the Yorkshireman is a good man manager. Doherty will hope to build on his Premier League form this season, as he has scored three goals and provided four assists in 30 league matches in 2018/19.