Ireland must finish in the top-two to get an automatic qualification to the Euro 2020, and so far, they have done remarkably well. The next game is an absolutely must-win game for Georgia and Republic of Ireland as both the teams meet in the Euro 2020 qualifiers at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, looking for an all-important win.
The hosts are 2nd from bottom after winning just one game in the last five qualifiers, while Ireland are currently sitting at the top in Group D, having won thrice and drawn the other two in their five assignments heading into this match.
That said, both Denmark and Switzerland, 2nd and 3rd on the table with 9 and 8 points respectively, are set to play in a crunch match. So either both or one team is going to drop points in that match, which means, Ireland can put one foot in the Euro 2020 tournament with a win over Georgia.
The European Qualifiers match will be played between Georgia and Ireland at Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, in Tbilisi, Georgia. The ground has a capacity of 54,549.
The game will start at 06:30 PM (IST), on Saturday, October 12.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Georgia – L L W L L D
Ireland – W W D W D W
Georgia Team News:
Lasha Dvali had to withdraw from the squad due to a knee injury he suffered while playing for Ferencvárosi Torna Club.
His absence will be felt even more considering Davit Khotcholava is still out due to an injury. So Georgia are a bit short at the back. But the rest of the squad is fit and healthy and ready to take on the Republic of Ireland.
The captain is back!
Captain Jaba Kankava is back in the squad after missing the 0-0 draw against Denmark through suspension. He is set to start in the midfield and which will see the team's only change from the last round. Giorgi Aburjanla is the likely player to make way for the captain in the playing 11.
Georgia squad for the next two Euro 2020 qualifiers:
Georgia Probable XI:
Giorgi Loria (GK), Arsene Jimmy Tabidze, Guram Kashia, Gia Grigalula, Rusenali, Otar Kakabadze, Jaba Kankava, Otar Kiteishvili, Tornike Okriashvili, Valeri Qazaishvili, Jano Ananidze, Giorgi Quilitaia
Ireland FC Team News:
Ireland have been rocked by injuries and suspension, especially at the back.
Derby Couty defender Richard Keogh has been ruled out through injury and joins striker David McGoldrick on the sideline.
While Greg Cunningham and Darrah Leniham have both withdrawn from the squad due to injury issues.
McCarthy's problems at the back are compounded even further due to the suspension of Enda Stevens. The 29-year-old Sheffield United left-back has picked up two yellow cards in the campaign and is set to serve a one-game ban.
Positive news for Ireland:
Shane Duffy returns to the squad after recovering from a calf injury. The Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back was not in Ireland's preliminary squad but joins the team on Wednesday.
But McCarthy has confirmed Duffy will be starting the game against Georgia after the Derryman proved his match fitness to the team's medical staff.
So the 27-year-old will start at the back alongside one of Kevin Long or John Egan.
McCarthy has decisions to make:
Captain Sean Coleman will start at right-back, but McCarthy is short of options at left-back due to Stevens' suspension. Matt Doherty looks the most viable option at the moment having played at this position in the past.
That said, McCarthy tossed Derrick Williams' name in the press conference and said that he was impressed by the player.
Another position to concern is the front line due to the injury to striker David McGoldrick.
Luton Town frontman James Collins and Aaron Connolly are both in contention to start the match.
Ireland Probable XI:
Darren Randolph (GK), Seamus Coleman, Kevin Long / John Egan, Shane Duffy, Matt Doherty / Derrick Williams, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean, Callum Robinson, Aaron Connolly / James Collins
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Aaron Connolly: Ireland's 19-year-old wonder-kid downed Tottenham Hotspur with two fine goals last weekend. The Brighton & Hove Albion star will be looking for more impact in this game.
Giorgi Kvilitaia: Georgia's best bet to score a goal in this game. He is good in the air and is good at the hold-up play at front.
Valerian Gvilia, Callum Robinson, James Collins, Valeri Qazaishvili, Jano Ananidze
To be updated!
IRE vs GEO Dream11 potential winner:
Ireland should at least get a draw here.