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Big Match Breakdown: Republic of Ireland v Wales

Dave Burin | 16 October 2018

Odds and in-depth look at Nations League clash

Wales got the better of Republic of Ireland last month, winning the pair’s first UEFA Nations League meeting with a commanding 4-1 triumph.

But this time around, they’re on Irish soil and without the talismanic Gareth Bale. So the question is – can they overcome those hurdles and achieve that winning feeling again?

Ireland looked improved in their last UNL game, drawing 0-0 with Denmark. Ahead of tonight’s clash – live on Sky Sports from 7:45pm – we have a Big Match Breakdown on this clash.

Head-to-Head

Over the course of history, meetings between this pair are split evenly. They’ve faced off 16 times. Each side have six wins, with four draws also in the mix.

Ireland had been the dominant force in recent decades, having been unbeaten in eight meetings from 1993-2017.

However, Wales tore up that record last month, becoming the first side ever to hit four goals in this fixture – breezing to a 3-0 lead before half-time.

Likely XIs

Ireland went with a 5-3-2 last time out against Denmark, and it saw a marked improvement from the first game against Wales. They’ll probably stick with the system – and a midfield trio of Cyrus Christie, Harry Arter and Callum O’Dowda.

For Wales, the absence of Bale up top paves the way for in-form Sam Vokes to lead the line.

Ryan Giggs tends to go with a 4-2-3-1 system, with an attack-minded trio of David Brooks, Gwion Edwards and Tom Lawrence supplying Vokes.

Key Battles

Ireland sat deep and frustrated the Danes in their last home game, and it’s up to Wales’ attacking quartet to break down a wily and experienced back four.

With Vokes’ main threat coming in the air, Brooks and Lawrence have to get those high balls from the wing spot on.

Harry Arter’s skill and distribution make him arguably Ireland’s key man. The AFC Bournemouth ace will keep Ashley Williams and James Chester on their toes with his propensity for a defence-splitting through-ball.

Match Odds

In the Match Betting, Ireland are 13/10 favourites. Meanwhile, a Welsh victory is 14/5 and the Draw is a 15/8 shot.

Both sides are no strangers to a 1-1 draw. This pair have been involved in a combined 10 games with that scoreline since the start of 2016. Another 1-1 draw is 19/4, while it’s 27/20 for Both Teams to Score.

Vokes has netted in each of his last three games for club and country. He’s 12/5 to Score Anytime in Dublin, while it’s 11/2 he’s Last Goalscorer.

For Ireland, the experienced Shane Long at 12/5 could offer their best chance of a goal.

Click here for Coral’s latest Rep of Ireland v Wales odds.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing