Switzerland provide the Republic of Ireland with arguably their stiffest test of their Euro 2020 Group D Qualifying campaign when they welcome the Boys in Green to Stade de Geneva on Tuesday evening (kick-off is at 7.45pm).
Switzerland fell to defeat last time out against Denmark in Copenhagen despite dominating much of the game in Scandinavia.
The result leaves the Swiss needing a favour or two to reach the Euro 2020, starting on Tuesday evening against Mick McCarthy’s Ireland.
“Ireland always play to their capacity,” Swiss boss Vladimir Petkovic said during his pre-match press conference.
“We know how Ireland will come towards us, so we will have to respond with more power and give our best as we always do.
“We did have difficulties in those games, and we were not decisive enough up front, and now I need to make decisions as to what my team will be.
“We have to keep up our performances and play the way we know we can play. We have an issue with late goals, so we need to be more compact and avoid these situations."
“And the manager explained how his side have prepared for this game with Ireland following on from such a recent defeat.
“I let everyone deal with it themselves – then we had a good training session. But you have to look forward now and we have a game that we have to win.
“It’s like a cup final and I think we are in a good position to do that.”
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
After a disappointing draw away to Georgia on Saturday afternoon, Mick McCarthy takes his Republic of Ireland to Geneva on Tuesday night in a pivotal Group D clash.
A win will send the Boys in Green through to Euro 2020, with two home group games guaranteed for McCarthy’s charges should they qualify.
However, there has been much negativity about the Irish side following the aftermath of Saturday’s stalemate in Tbilisi – a feeling that the former Ipswich Town boss is struggling to understand.
“I just keep getting messages from people saying, ‘F the begrudgers’ and I keep thinking, what’s going on?
“And seriously, what’s going on? I asked the question, I haven’t sensed that at all, it’s just a few text messages I got. And I didn’t want to text them back and ask what’s going on.
“I just don’t get a feeling the fact that we are within a win of qualifying, I just don’t get the sense there is some sense of anticipation or excitement and there should be.
“It’s not a negative vibe I’m getting, it’s just not one of positivity that we can do it, which is a different feeling.”
“Would I be happy with a draw tomorrow? Absolutely”, added McCarthy.
“If we set up to try and get a draw that will be a recipe for disaster. We have tried to win every game. It might not always look like it when we are being pushed back by good teams, and having seen these against Denmark, they are a very good side.”
Ireland have no fresh injury worries to contend with ahead of Tuesday night’s showdown against the Swiss, but David McGoldrick will not play any role with a groin strain.
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland).
The Republic of Ireland have won two of their previous five games, with two wins over Georgia and Gibraltar respectively, the Boys in Green have also earned credible draws against both Denmark and Switzerland.
To find Ireland’s last competitive win over Switzerland, you need to go all the way back to 1985 where the Boys in Green secured a comfortable three-nil win over the Swiss at Lansdowne Road.
Frank Stapleton, Tony Grealish and Kevin Sheedy all got on the scoresheet for Ireland on that occasion.
1985 also marks the last time a League of Ireland played a competitive game for the Republic of Ireland. Pat Byrne of Shamrock Rovers was the player in question who the most recent domestic player was to don the green shirt in a competitive game.
Switzerland 4/9; Draw 3/1; Republic of Ireland 6/1.
Switzerland 0 - 1 Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland