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Ireland’s long wait for a goal came to an end as they registered twice away in Serbia, though in terms of results it hasn’t altered the picture with their hosts securing the points.
They’ve now gone 10 games without tasting victory, as nine of these have come under Stephen Kenny, including defeats in four of their past five.
A win here is crucial if they’re to recover and battle for second spot in Group A behind expected winners Portugal, though of course, Luxembourg don’t have players like Dusan Tadic and Alexsandar Mitrovic to harm their backline.
The visitors have scored just once in four appearances, but they’re not as bad as they once were, even winning three times in their Nations League group to finish second in a pool containing Montenegro, Azerbaijan and Cyprus.
However, they’ve still lost 13 of 19 fixtures going back to March 2019, with no other victories to boast from this spell.
Although understandably expected to lose, Luxembourg may well fancy their chances of keeping things tight.
Only five of those 13 defeats saw them downed by more than a single-goal margin, with Portugal accounting for two of those, as Serbia, Denmark and Austria were the other teams to do so.
In fact, the Danes were the only ones to register four goals, and Ireland have hardly impressed all that much at the sharp end in recent times.
Ireland To Win And Under 2.5 Goals
Before the defeat in Belgrade, Ireland had gone seven matches without registering a goal, while they’ve long-been a low-scoring team and we’re unconvinced they’ll pummel their visitors in this one.
Even including the latest outing, there have been fewer than three strikes in 20 of their past 24 matches dating back to September 2018, with just one strike or less in 13 of these, as under 1.5 goals has landed in six of their last eight appearances.
Ireland To Win To Nil
When facing the lesser lights of European football, the Irish do tend to keep clean sheets. In World Cup or Euro qualifiers against teams currently below 80th in FIFA’s world rankings, they’ve shut their opponents out in nine of 12 unbeaten matches since September 2014, winning 10 of them.
That includes 1-0 or 2-0 victories in four of five since October 2017, as only Georgia held them to a goalless stalemate.
Given these most recent encounters with the European minnows featured clashes with Gibraltar (195th) and Georgia (89th) twice each, as well as Moldova (177th), 98th-ranked Luxembourg should be avoiding a humiliation.