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Wales dropping points at home and Ireland beating Austria away sets Ireland up in the group nicely. It'll be a tight group but ireland couldn't have asked for a better start.

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The likes of Wales and ROI still have to be careful because they're not good enough to assume they will beat the seemingly lesser sides (not that Serbia are a lesser side).  Back in the day, a trip to Lithuania or Georgia (or Cyprus :bang:) for us was a very real threat of a draw or worse, and it de-railed so many of our qualification campaigns.  Where we have improved immensely in recent years is being consistently able to put those sides to bed.  We lost our complacency by being bitten so many times and we're a lot bettter for it. 

There are no super powers in our qualy group so the main contenders can all legitimately think they're capable of going through.  It comes down to consistency and obviously not being beaten by the other contenders in the 6 pointers.  I think this is our best ever start to a qualy campaign, or our best in a long time anyway.

It looks as though that win has already put pay to Austria's hopes.  We've seen off a historically bogey team in their own back yard.

Next up is a vital 6 pointer home to Wales in March.  That should go a pretty long way to deciding where the balance of power is.

As for this squad being "terrible".  I'm not sure.  OK we're without Robbie Keane, but tbqh we've been "without" his ability for a while now.  And our midfield actually looks to be better than it has been for a long time.  Randolph in goal has taken over Given's mantle seamlessly and the defence; while young against Austria; seems more cohesive than when we were trying to shoehorn the likes of O'Shea & Ward into it solely because they were experienced.

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Was a brilliant win for ROI....I thought they'd do well to get a draw.

Very much in the driving seat for automatic qualification now....I was looking at the table and even if Wales take 4 points off you, ROI can still probably get top 6 by getting 4 points off Sebia and Austria and winning in Georgia. With a nailed on 3 points at home to Moldova that would take you to 20 points so Wales would need to find another 10 points from their other 4 games.

Basically whoever wins in Georgia will get top spot I think.

At the start of qualifying I thought ROI would be 4th in the group but another where they've dug in and battled and confounded expectations.

If you look at their squad man to man it's not really that much better than what Scotland call up (bar likes of Coleman) but here we are with ROI top of their group and Scotland again nearly out of contention and crying they have no decent players. ROI's mentality is just so much better.

 

Edited by VillaChris

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^ Worst.  Spoiler. Ever.

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Match ratings from an Austrian newspaper Österreich :lol: McClean a 2 :) (They could be marking out of 5, but even still)

EDIT : It appears that maybe those craaazy Europeans DO mark 1 to 5 with 1 being the best and 5 being the worst!  WTF?

Ratings.jpg

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Good post there BOF, great result Saturday night but still a little long way to go. No point doing a Scotland 2014 on it and thinking qualification is secure after 1 good win. Plenty twists and turns left in this group.

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yeah I do worry as I think we do struggle a bit when we our favourites and its in our hands plus we have a manager who can blow point leads in the final furlong

though 4 home games out of 6 does give us a great advantage

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What are expecting tonight then?

Bit of early pressure on both as Serbia have come from behind to lead in Georgia.

I think whoever slips up in Georgia will miss out on top 2....Wales have already dropped points at home to them which could really hurt them at the end of the process.

I've heard it all before though....Wales fully fit, ROI half their team out, Zatman wanting MON tried for crimes for Football.....Republic of Ireland 1 Wales 0 (winner from a set piece).

ROI always tend to pull out a result when they're being written off. Was the same in the last campaign when they ground out a 1-0 at home to Germany which was the difference between them and Scotland.

Can see them nullifying Bale and Wales won't create much else and then they'll nick it late on.

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a dreadful encounter so far. Reminds me of watching some of Villa earlier games this season with the quality on display

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What an awful game. Lacking in quality all over, really struggling to motivate myself to watch the second half.

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For me, Ireland look hard-working but really poor in the middle. Hourihane could change this game their way.

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9 minutes ago, rodders0223 said:

Vintage MON selection, game plan and mentality in every way.

he has no creative tactics at all and is certainly playing for a draw

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15 minutes ago, rodders0223 said:

Ding Ding Ding bring out the tried and trusted McGeady now.

in fairness I am not a fan but he probably is one of Ireland more in-form players for their club at moment

MON bottled it not putting on Hourihane last 10 minutes when we getting a number of corner kicks

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Looked like a horrible leg break there, proper flopping around as he fell :(

Terrible game, and how annoying is that trumpet player??

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