Preview: Can Ireland finish off their campaign with a win?


The Republic of Ireland will be looking to end up their World Cup qualifying campaign on high as they face of Luxembourg in a fight for third place in the group tonight.

Ireland are in decent form coming into this game only losing one of their last nine games and that one was when Cristiano Ronaldo broke Irish hearts in Portugal.

The last time Luxembourg and Ireland met back in March; Luxembourg came out on top with a late goal by Gerson Rodrigues to pile the pressure on Stephen Kenny.

This match has a lot riding on it for the Republic of Ireland, a positive result here and it will do Stephen Kenny’s future a lot of good.

But a loss in Luxembourg could be fatal for the future of the Irish boss as the pressure will be ramped up.

As for Luxembourg they are coming into the game with confidence after scoring a brilliant win in Baku against Azerbaijan. They will be looking to do the double over the men in green to finish in third place to finish a decent campaign.

Expect a tight encounter but giving the importance of the game for Stephen Kenny, don’t be surprised if Ireland will just shade it to end of the campaign on a positive note.

Team News

Luxembourg will have to assess the fitness of Yvandro Borges Sanches, who was replaced in the early stages of the second half against Azerbaijan, but the home side are otherwise in excellent shape heading into this match.

Head coach Holtz will be determined to end the campaign on a positive note, so it would be a surprise to see wholesale changes, although Sebastien Thill, who has impressed for Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League this season, is pushing to come into the starting side.

Gerson Rodrigues, who is currently on loan at Troyes from Dynamo Kiev, scored twice on Thursday night, and the 26-year-old is again expected to lead the line for Luxembourg.

As for the Republic of Ireland, there are expected to be at least a couple of changes to the side that took to the field against Portugal on Thursday night.

Indeed, Adam Idah could replace Jamie McGrath in the final third, while Conor Hourihane could come in for Jeff Hendrick in the middle of the park.

Like Holtz, ROI boss Kenny will want to end the campaign on a positive note, so wholesale changes are unlikely, with Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy and John Egan all set to retain their spots.

Luxembourg possible starting lineup:
Schon; Jans, Chanot, Carlson, Pinto; S Thill, Barreiro, Martins, O Thill, Deville; Rodrigues

Republic of Ireland possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Coleman, Duffy, Egan; Doherty, Hourihane, Cullen, Stevens; Ogbene, Robinson, Idah

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