Kick-off: 1700, 04/09/2021
Stadium: Aviva Stadium
TV: Sky Sports
Republic of Ireland can’t afford any more slip-ups when hosting fellow Group A strugglers Azerbaijan following Wednesday’s heart-breaking loss to Portugal.
Both of these teams have yet to pick up a point from three World Cup qualifiers but all six of those matches have been decided by just one goal.
Punters can get 23/10 for the home side to prevail by that margin in Dublin and that is our first Republic of Ireland vs Azerbaijan prediction.
A Look At Republic of Ireland’s Betting Odds
Stephen Kenny could be forgiven for feeling cursed after Ireland’s 2-1 midweek loss to Portugal at Estadio Algarve.
John Egan’s header on the stroke of half-time gave the men in green a surprise lead and they held onto that advantage until the 89th minute.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo, who had earlier seen his penalty saved by Gavin Bazunu, came to Portugal’s rescue with a dramatic late double.
While the rest of the world celebrated Ronaldo setting a new record for international goals, Ireland were left to rue another missed opportunity.
Kenny’s team began their Group A campaign with a 3-2 loss to Serbia in Belgrade before going down 1-0 to Luxembourg on home turf.
Egan insisted: “We’ve got another game. It’s a quick turn-around and we have to dust ourselves off quickly and we have to build on this.
“We had a really good camp in the summer, a couple of really good performances and we’ve backed that up with a really good performance here.
“We didn’t get the result, which is obviously gutting with how the game went, but we can keep building, we can keep improving and I’m sure there is a lot more to come from us.”
Ireland have slipped to 47 in the FIFA rankings from 23 five years ago but that still puts them 65 spots above their next opponents, so this has to be regarded as a must-win match.
Looking at the Republic of Ireland vs Azerbaijan odds, we like 16/5 for the scores to be level at half-time and then the hosts to win.
A Look At Azerbaijan’s Betting Odds
Azerbaijan are coming off a 2-1 away defeat against Luxembourg, with Emin Mahmudov’s 67th-minute strike proving a consolation effort following early goals conceded.
That followed a 1-0 loss to Portugal via an own goal and a 2-1 defeat by Serbia, when only succumbing to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s late decider.
Experienced Italian coach Gianni De Biasi previously led Albania to Euro 2016 qualification, where they lost narrowly to Switzerland and France before shading Romania.
The 65-year-old’s teams are usually well-drilled at the back and Azerbaijan kept four clean sheets from six Nations League games last year.
Unfortunately, they only scored twice in that pool when finishing third behind Montenegro and Luxembourg, although a 1-0 win in Cyprus warrants respect.
In what could be a cagey, nervous contest, let’s finish off our Republic of Ireland vs Azerbaijan betting tips by taking 19/4 for a 1-0 home win.
Portugal 2-1 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND – Egan
Luxembourg 2-1 AZERBAIJAN – Mahmudov
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