Our football match prediction:
Aviva Stadium in Dublin will host Friday’s friendly between Republic of Ireland and Netherlands. The Boys in Green played out a 2-2 draw with Slovakia in their last warm-up game and they now continue their preparations for the Euro 2016 finals. Martin O’Neill can count on all of his key players for the friendly against Netherlands and considering that Danny Blind has some selection worries ahead of the trip to Dublin, we predict that the hosts will emerge triumphant in Friday’s football match. In their last meeting on the international stage Netherlands crushed Republic of Ireland 4-0, meaning that Martin O’Neill’s men are hungry for revenge. A man to watch in the home team will be Southampton attacker Shane Long, who found the net in the 2-2 draw with Slovakia. In Arjen Robben’s absence, all eyes will be on Memphis Depay, speaking of the Oranje.
Highlighted Player (Wesley Sneijder):
Wesley Sneijder is a Dutch footballer who started his senior career at Ajax. The product of Ajax’s youth academy made 126 league appearances for the Amsterdam Arena outfit and in 2007 he joined Real Madrid. After failing to impress with los Blancos, Sneijder signed a deal with Serie A side Inter on 27 August, 2009. He made his Inter debut a day after he signed a deal with the Nerazzurri. The Dutch midfielder, who has netted a number of goals from free kicks, won the 2009/2010 Serie A trophy with Inter and in 2010 he clinched the Champions League trophy with the Nerazzurri. After spending four years at Inter, he joined Galatasaray in 2013 and it has to be noted that he won his second Super Lig trophy with the Turkish outfit in the 2014/2015 season. Speaking of his international career, Sneijder participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final with Netherlands, but Spain proved to be a big catch for the Oranje in the title game.
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.