The Republic of Ireland have been stuttering of late, as they’ve failed to bounce back from their World Cup humiliation at the hands of Denmark. They’ve lost back to back friendlies after that 5-1 hammering in Dublin. Their latest loss came in Paris against France, which was an odd choice of game for a side who are in terrible form. Setting up a clash at home to the United States seems a more sensible move, but will they be able to claim a victory over another side who are missing out on Russia this summer?
The United States had a lot of soul searching to do after their 2-1 loss at Trinidad and Tobago. That left them out of the World Cup this summer, despite having one of the easiest paths to the tournament. With three qualifying spots and a play-off from their six team group, it is harder not to progress further from their final round of qualifiers. However, the US are now focused on winning the race to host the 2026 World Cup, with that set to be decided the day before Russia 2018 kicks off.
The United States should be looking to make friends around the world ahead of that vote, but they’ll obviously remain competitive in this trip. Given that they’re meeting an Irish side who are winless in four, there’s bound to be confidence from the visitors. The Irish have won two of their last seven matches at the Aviva Stadium, and they could struggle against the States, who are making a stronger return from their qualifying set back than the Irish.
The States have a young squad, but they have talent in their ranks. That includes Tottenham’s Cameron Carter-Vickers, Timothy Weah of PSG and Stuttgart’s Julian Green. Meanwhile, the Irish are sticking with John O’Shea ahead of his international retirement this summer. O’Shea is set to pick up his 119th cap this weekend. The rest of the 13 players selected as goalkeepers or defenders have a combined 84 caps. James McClean and Jeff Hendrick are the leading men in a midfield full of scarcely capped Championship players. With that in mind, the Irish could struggle.
They take on a USA side who have one defeat in their last seven away trips, while it’s over three years since they last lost an away friendly. Since then the States have won at the Netherlands and Germany, while they’ve claimed draws at Portugal and Switzerland. The Irish have lost five of their last seven friendlies, beating just Oman and a very understrength Uruguay side. With that in mind, we’re backing the USA on the Double Chance market.
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All seven meetings between these two sides have finished with both teams finding the back of the net.
John O’Shea is set to make his final appearance at the Aviva this weekend. The squad contains two domestic based players, with Bohemians’ keeper Shane Supple and Shamrock Rovers forward Graham Burke called up.
The United States are going through a transition, and they’ve called up two young forwards in Andrija Novakovich and Josh Sargent.