Our prediction for this match:
Republic of Ireland will look to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to Netherlands when they face New Zealand in a friendly on Tuesday evening. When the two teams met in a warm-up game four years ago Ireland defeated New Zealand 3-1 and the Boys in Green are seen as favourites to win the Aviva Stadium clash as well. There are no fresh injury worries in the home team, but both Adam Idah and Jamie McGrath should be recalled to the starting line-up.
The All Whites, on the other hand, failed to impress in back-to-back defeats to Australia and Greece and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Ireland’s party in Dublin. As always, a man to keep an eye on in the away team will be Nottingham Forest forward Chris Wood, who has netted 34 goals for the national team.
Highlighted Player (Chris Wood):
Chris Wood is a New Zealand international who was born on 7 December, 1991. Wood plays as a striker and he began his senior career at Waikato FC. In 2009 he joined West Bromwich Albion, but he played no more than 21 league games for the Baggies.
The New Zealand attacker played for the likes of Barnsley, Brighton, Birmingham City, Bristol City, Millwall, Leicester City and Ipswich Town on loan in the past, but in July 2015 he signed a four-year deal with Leeds United. Chris Wood scored 13 goals for the Whites in the 2015/2016 Championship campaign and he was given the number 9 shirt. Wood made his Leeds debut on 8 August, 2015 in a 1-1 draw against Burnley. Speaking of his debut for New Zealand, he made his first appearance for the All Whites in a friendly game against Tanzania on 3 June. 2009.
It has to be noted that he represented New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and he was the youngest player in the squad. His sister Chelsey Wood is a football player as well and she represented New Zealand at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
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.