Republic of Ireland vs Uruguay

June 2, 2017
By: Milos Markovic

Republic of Ireland will be keen to make amends for the 3-1 defeat to Mexico this week as they prepare to face another stern challenge against Uruguay. An under-strength Republic are enduring a poor-form spell and will be looking to step it up ahead of a crucial qualifier against Austria next week.

Republic of Ireland in poor form

It has been one disappointment after another for Republic of Ireland who are winless in their last three matches. Having held Wales to a goalless draw back in a March qualifier, O’Neill’s men suffered back-to-back international friendly defeats which will have sounded alarm bells in the Irish camp. Ireland was outclassed by rampant Mexico at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey with substitute Stephen Gleeson scoring the consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat. Martin O’Neill used the Mexico match to check up the fitness of his several key men ahead of the Austria qualifier and could continue to experiment against Uruguay as well. Brighton defender Shane Duffy got a first taste of action since his metatarsal fracture injury, whereas striker Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick also got chances to stake claim on their spot in the starting line-up. Martin O’Neill is urged to pack the puzzle as his team faces a crucial test in the qualifiers. Ireland is tied on points with Serbia who are topping Group D, and any possible slip up could see O’Neill’s side lose pace on road to Russia.

Shane Duffy is expected to start against Uruguay and gain fitness ahead of Austria’s visit. Goalkeeper Darren Randolph will also be given another opportunity to gain match fitness after being dropped from the first team at West Ham towards the end of the season.

Can Uruguay end the losing streak?

Uruguay can count themselves extremely lucky for not dropping deeper down in the South American World Cup qualifying group after three consecutive defeats. Oscar Tabarez’s men are going through a rough spell which saw them lose to Chile, Brazil and Peru, respectively. Despite kicking off World Cup qualifiers on the high and sitting first after six rounds, Uruguay are struggling for form. Currently with 23 points to their name, Uruguay are sitting third in the standings, behind Colombia and Brazil, who have already qualified for the World Cup in Russia. La Celelste continue the qualifying process in August against Argentine and they will be keen to make good use of two forthcoming international friendlies against Ireland and Italy four days later. Uruguay have truly become a force to be reckoned with under experienced Oscar Tabarez, who struggled with illness in 2016, and the veteran tactician will have a particular motivation to finish what he started and book a place in Russia for the next year’s edition of World Cup.

Diego Godin and Abel Hernandez have been left out of the squad due to injury, whereas Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has picked up a right leg muscle injury and was forced to withdraw from the squad.


Uruguay might be a more quality side than Republic of Ireland, but their current form does not do justice to their perceived superiority. This hence promises to be a closely-cut tie. Both Ireland and Uruguay will want to improve the impression after most recent set-backs and we should expect an openly contested game.

Top pick: Both teams to score – yes   2.05 (21/20) @WilliamHill

Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals   2.38 (11/8) @BetVictor

Alternative pick 2: Uruguay   2.55 (31/20) @Coral

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