Our prediction for this match:
Andorra and Republic of Ireland take on each other at Estadi Johan Cruyff in Barcelona in a warm-up game. Andorra made a slow start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, with the team losing each of their first three group games. The minnows continue to struggle at the back, and it is no wonder the bookies see them as underdogs in Thursday’s friendly. The Boys in Green, on the other hand, are eager to put an end to their twelve-game winless run in all competitions.
Republic of Ireland will not have a better chance than this to return to winning ways, and we predict that Stephen Kenny’s troops are going to prove their worth on the field. All Daniel Mandroiu, Jamie McGrath, Andrew Omobamidele, and Chiedozie Ogbene have received their first call-ups, while Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning are likely to be rested following their participation in the Championship play-off final.
Highlighted Player (Eric Bailly):
Eric Bailly started his youth career at Espanyol and he made five league appearances for the first team as well. In 2015 he joined fellow La Liga side Villarreal and after playing 35 league games for the Camp El Madrigal outfit, the Ivory Coast defenders signed a four-year contract with Manchester United.
Eric Bailly is well known for his speed and he is very strong physically. He plays as a centre back, but he is capable of playing as a full back if needed as well. Bailly made his Ivory Coast debut on 11 January, 2015 in a friendly game against Nigeria. The 187-cm-tall defender represented the Elephants at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and, no doubt, he helped the team win the prestigious trophy at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
Eric Bailly participated in the 2016 Community Shield final and it has to be noted that Manchester United defeated Leicester City 2-1 in the Wembley Stadium clash.
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.