Our prediction for this match:
Saturday’s football at Aviva Stadium pits together Republic of Ireland and United States of America, the two teams who failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals. Republic of Ireland experienced all sorts of problems in a 5-1 loss to Denmark in the play-offs and it seems as if they have yet to recover from the defeat. Martin O’Neill is still in charge of the team and the experienced tactician and his men are now preparing for the Euro 2020 qualifiers. USA struggled in the qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well, with the team suffering a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago in the decider. The Yanks will not take part in the showpiece tournament in Russia, but they are definitely capable of matching Ireland at Aviva Stadium. A close encounter is on the cards, but we are tempted to put our money on Dave Sarachan’s troops, who are desperate to make amends for the unsuccessful qualifying campaign.
Highlighted Player (Shane Long):
Shane Long is an Irish international striker who has so far made over 60 appearances for the Republic of Ireland national team, scoring more than 15 goals in the process. The forward began his professional career at Cork City, but only made one league appearance for the club ahead of the switch to Reading, where he would go on to spend next seven years. During that time, Long established himself as one of the best Irish strikers plying their trade in England, and also went on to represent West Bromwich Albion, Hull City and Southampton. Despite not exactly boasting an enviable goalscoring record for a centre forward, Long was always held in high regard by both managers and his peers, with his incredible work rate and never-say-die attitude winning him plenty of admirers. Long will also go down as one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the Republic of Ireland national team, which he represented at the Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (United States):
The United States Men’s National Soccer Team commonly referred to as the USMNT have been playing at the international level since 1916 and their debut 3-2 win at Sweden. The USMNT have first appeared at a FIFA World Cup in 1930 when they achieved their best ever result by reaching the semi-final of the competition and ultimately finishing third, which remains the joint highest finish of any team outside of the UEFA and CONMEBOL confederations. Following the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the United States did not qualify for the tournament until 1990. The US also hosted the competition in 1994, going out to lose to Brazil in the round of 16. Hosts of the Copa America Centenario, the United States will try to record a noticeable result on home soil under the leadership of Germany legend Jurgen Klinsmann. The US have bright history in the century-old tournament and will hope to repeat the glorious 1995 run when they finished fourth.