Republic of Ireland vs Northern Ireland prediction: Republic of Ireland 1-2 Northern Ireland
Two fierce old rivals collide in Dublin.
However, both are in the midst of disastrous UEFA Nations League campaigns and could really do with a moral boosting victory.
This is unlikely to be a particularly friendly international friendly.
Republic of Ireland vs Northern Ireland: Who will win?
Republic of Ireland, as the home side, are 21/20 to win this match.
Northern Ireland are 29/10 to get only their third victory over their neighbours from the south.
A draw is 11/5.
Both have struggled to score goals recently and under 2.5 goals is 8/15.
Shane Long will lead the line for the hosts. The Southampton forward is 9/2 to break the deadlock and 7/4 to net anytime.
Kyle Lafferty is back in the fold for Northern Ireland. The Rangers forward is 17/2 to score first and 10/3 to score in 90 minutes.
Republic of Ireland vs Northern Ireland: Match preview
The last 12 months could hardly have gone any worse for the Republic of Ireland.
Just over a year ago, they were hammered 5-1 by Denmark in Dublin in the World Cup play-off round which ensured they would not qualify for Russia 2018.
They were looking to get back on track in the UEFA Nations League.
However, it could hardy have started any worse with a 4-1 defeat in Cardiff.
The Boys in Green then had a pair of home games last month to try and gets some points on the board.
They did hold Denmark to a goalless draw but were beaten 1-0 by Wales to leave them bottom of the group.
The only way they can avoid relegation is if Wales beat Denmark on Friday night and then they go to Aarhus and win on Monday night.
They’ve lost two of their last 4 friendly matches, winning just one, so any victory would be most welcome.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND – NOVEMBER 09: Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off first leg between Northern Ireland and Switzerland at Windsor Park on November 9, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Not going well for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s Nations League campaign has been equally bad.
Their good performances have not rendered the results they’ve deserved with missed chances the story of their season.
They lost to Bosnia & Herzegovina on matchday 1 despite having 26 shots to their opponents’ 5.
Their luck didn’t change in last month’s away double header.
They were beaten 1-0 in Vienna by Austria before losing 2-0 in Sarajevo to Bosnia three days later.
That leaves them as one of just 5 sides who are still pointless in the UEFA Nations League.
They are not relegated yet though.
If Bosnia win away to Austria, then Northern Ireland would have to beat Austria by two clear goals at Windsor Park on Sunday afternoon to beat the drop.
It’s a long shot but they still have some hope.
Even if that game means nothing, Michael O’Neil will be hoping to gather some momentum ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifiers that commence in March.
Republic of Ireland team news vs Northern Ireland
It’s fair to say, Martin O’Neil does not know his best XI.
Having said that, Darren Randolph is very much the number 1 having played the last 23 competitive games.
He’s likely to win his 33rd cap.
O’Neil has a right back problem though.
How does he fit in both his captain Séamus Coleman, and Wolverhampton Wanderers star Matt Doherty?
This’ll be fascinating to see.
They’ve reverted to a back three since the friendly in Wrocław in September and have looked considerably more defensively solid since.
Shane Duffy has made more clearances in the Premier League (96) and more headed clearances (65) than anybody else and is a key figure for country too.
Stephen Ward is still out injured so Enda Stevens will win his fifth cap at left wing-back.
Robbie Brady is back in the squad after a long injury but is unlikely to be thrown straight into the side.
James McClean was forced to play at wing-back last month and it is hard to see where he fits into this side.
Scoring goals remains a problem.
Shane Long has only scored 1 goal in his last 20 international appearances but misses out through injury.
Callum Robinson of Preston North End looked lively in last month’s matches and should get another start here.
Five players could win their first Ireland cap including 18 year-old Southampton forward Michael Obafemi.
Does this side have enough to beat their rivals?
Northern Ireland team news vs Republic of Ireland
Despite, potentially, having a big game to come, Michael O’Neil does not often rotate his squad heavily.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell has started all 17 of Leeds United’s Championship matches this season and that has helped the 22 year-old establish himself as his country’s number 1.
However, Motherwell’s Trevor Carson may get some playing time as he did against Israel in September.
Gareth McAuley has only played two minutes all season for Rangers and is unlikely to get in ahead of Jonny Evans or Craig Cathcart.
Jamal Lewis shone in the last international break and will hope to be their left-back for the next decade.
Oliver Norwood, who’s been in form for Sheffield United, is out with an injury.
That could see Oxford United midfielder Gavin Whyte win only his third cap.
Will Grigg is also out so Kyle Lafferty, who’s back in the squad, could win his 69th cap up front.
After shinning for Kilmarnock this season, Jordan Jones will win his fourth cap on the left-wing.
They’ll be desperate to get a their first away win since winning in San Marino over 14 months ago.
They’re a very defensively strong side and, if they can start putting their chances away, their results will vastly improve.
Predicted Republic of Ireland team vs Northern Ireland
Predicted Northern Ireland team vs Republic of Ireland
The latest tweets from Republic of Ireland pre Northern Ireland
‘I think the Irish supporters have a good balance. If they see players going out giving their all- they’ll back you all the way.’
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 12, 2018
Jeff Hendrick is the next to feature in our My Firsts series ahead of Thursday’s clash with Northern Ireland! #COYBIG
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 11, 2018
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) October 16, 2018
The latest tweets from Northern Ireland pre Republic of Ireland
— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) November 12, 2018
🎥Take a trip behind the scenes of Sarajevo and beyond with an all new episode of NI Uncut 👇🏻
— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) November 10, 2018
— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) November 8, 2018
— Northern Ireland (@NorthernIreland) November 8, 2018
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.