AFTER a disappointing performance against European footballing powerhouse, Gibraltar, Mick McCarthy’s first home game in charge since making his return to Ireland has taken on added importance.
WWN Sport previews this crunch Euro 2020 game against Georgia below:
Mick McCarthy could resign and be appointed Executive Vice Manager of Ireland if Georgia hammer Ireland, the stakes couldn’t be higher this early into Mick’s second reign.
However, Ireland have the upper hand after their tactical Masterclass against Gibraltar saw the team pretend to be an under 12s team who had a debilitating phobia of the opponent’s 18-yard box, all in a bid to lure Georgia into a false sense of security.
The devastating loss of John Delaney as CEO of the FAI could affect fans as they may struggle to watch Ireland through all their tears of joy.
Key men: Can Seamus Coleman and Matt Doherty gel together on the right hand side of the field? McCarthy has confirmed that in a novel tactical tweak he has asked the two players to link up with one another as if they aren’t complete strangers who have never spoken before. Let’s hope it works.
Key stat: If Ireland scores more goals than Georgia, they will win.
Danger man: John Delaney. The Irish team could be distracted if Delaney insists on releasing emergency statements every 10 minutes clarifying the financial affairs of the incredibly well run FAI.
Tactics: Ireland has promised a high tempo passing game with an eye on creating chances, so expect Georgia to control the game instead for the full 90 minutes.
Wildcard: If the FAI has had a secret DNA programme which sees players like Denis Irwin, Roy Keane, Damian Duff, Liam Brady, Paul McGrath and Ray Houghton cloned, now would be the time to use it.
Get to know the opposition: Their national flag looks a lot like the English, but don’t hold that against them.
With players like Chanturishvili, Shergelashvili, Qazaishvili, Kvaskhvadze and Kvekveskiri there can be no doubt it will be hilarious listening to Irish commentators trying to pronounce their names.
Prediction: 90 minutes of heartwarming applause from Irish fans, all showing their appreciation for John Delaney. The FAI have already confirmed that if it sounds like intense booing and protest on television, that is merely a technical fault with your TV.