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Big Match Breakdown: Wales v Republic of Ireland

Dave Burin | 6 September 2018

Odds and info on Nations League clash

The first ever UEFA Nations League begins this week, and the first set of fixtures has thrown up a showdown of familiar foes – Wales and Republic of Ireland.

The Dragons have more recent pedigree – with a semi-final berth at Euro 2016. But it’s the Boys in Green who tend to come out on top in this fixture.

Ahead of an intriguing clash, the Coral News Team are back with another Big Match Breakdown.

Head-to-Head

Ireland have dominated this fixture in recent history. They haven’t lost to Wales since way back in 1992, with the last eight meetings producing four Irish wins and as many draws.

The pair faced off in qualification for last summer’s World Cup. Neither made it, but once again it was Martin O’Neill’s men who dominated the head-to-head. A 0-0 home draw was followed by a 1-0 triumph at Cardiff City Stadium.

Likely XIs

Welsh boss Ryan Giggs has gone with a 3-4-3 system in two of his first three games at the helm – including a 6-0 mauling of China.

They’re likely to stick with a back three of Ben Davies, James Chester and Ashley Williams. Further forward, Ben Woodburn is likely to feature again, having impressed on loan at Sheffield United.

For Ireland, O’Neill has been hampered by the absence of James McLean and Harry Arter. This will be a relatively inexperienced midfield, though they can call on the nous of Jon Walters up top.

Wales v Rep of Ireland - BMB Graphic

Key Battles

Ireland have done a pretty good job of neutralising Gareth Bale in recent meetings. Wales’ star man has faced them twice, and failed to register a goal or assist. But pulling off that feat for a third time will be tough.

What the visitors’ midfield lacks in experience, it makes up for in creativity. Alan Judge showed his quality with a first international goal in their recent defeat to the USA, whilst Hibernian’s Daryl Horgan is a tricky presence on the wing.

Match Odds

In the match betting, Wales are 19/20 favourites. Coral’s odds make it 21/10 for the Draw, with an Irish victory at 18/5.

This doesn’t tend to be a high scoring affair. Just one of the last six clashes have seen both sides register. It’s 4/7 for Both Teams to Score – No at Cardiff City Stadium.

Meanwhile, a third 0-0 draw in four meetings is available at odds of 5/1.

But there will still be plenty of attacking talent on the park for this clash.

Bale at 5/4 Anytime is the favourite to find the net. 16/5 shot Walters is Ireland’s best hope, whilst it’s 11/2 for Alan Judge to add to his tally.

Click here for the latest Wales v Republic of Ireland.

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