Our prediction for this Euro 2024 match:
Aviva Stadium will be the centre of attention when Republic of Ireland and Netherlands face each other in a highly-anticipated EURO 2024 qualifier. Ireland failed to spoil France’s party at Parc des Princes and, as a result, they have slim qualifying hopes. Anyhow, the Boys in Green will, as always, leave their hearts on the field when playing in front of home fans. Experienced winger James McClean is widely expected to return to the starting XI after coming as a substitute in the last group game.
The Oranje, on the other hand, recorded a routine 3-0 win over Greece on Thursday evening, with the team climbing to automatic qualification places. Netherlands are more of a team than Ireland and even though Atletico Madrid striker Memphis Depay has been ruled out with injury, away win should be considered. Ronald Koeman is unlikely to make changes to the team that defeated the Greeks at Philips Stadion.
Highlighted Player (Nathan Ake):
Ake is a professional footballer who plays for the Dutch National Team and AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League. The versatile defender who was born on the 18th of February, 1995, started his youth career in 2003 with local club ADO Den Haag. He then moved to Feyenoord in 2007 before joining Chelsea's youth academy four years later.
Ake made his first professional appearance at the age of 17, playing for the Blues in a 0-1 away victory against Norwich on the 26th of December, 2012. Barring a few starts and substitute appearances, Ake spent his next few years at Chelsea mostly in the reserves before being sent out on a one month loan to Reading in 2015. Upon his return, he immediately joined Watford on a season-long loan where his displays earned him the Watford's young player of the season award. Another successful loan spell at Bournemouth succeeded his time at Watford before Chelsea recalled him in January 2017.
At the start of the 17/18 season, the 24-year-old rejoined his current club Bournemouth permanently on a five-year contract worth 20 million pounds. On the International stage, Ake has represented the Netherlands at every youth level and has even captained the under-17 and under-19 sides. He made his first senior appearance on the 31st of May, 2017, featuring in Hollands 2-1 friendly win over Morocco.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match.
They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses.
Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.