Ireland’s Deciding Period: EURO 2024 Qualifiers Predictions vs FRA & NED
The boys in green are in a precarious position now, to say the least. With a goal to quality for the EURO 2024 tournament and only a few matches to go, they have no margin for error.
To make things even worse, they’re to face off against Qatar World Cup 2023 finalists France and the always uncomfortable Dutch national team in September. So, let’s take a look at whether some good ol’ Irish luck will be on the team’s side.
Assessing the Situation
Although the Irish have started the EURO 2024 qualifiers properly, they’re still not out of the danger zone. They’re third in Group B, with only France and Greece being ahead of them. Of course, this is a surprise, as betting agencies had the Netherlands as a shoo-in for second place.
This, however, didn’t happen, as Ronald Koeman brought calamity upon the Oranje (it should be mentioned that the Netherlands played only two games while Ireland and Greece played 3 games each).
Therefore, one can realistically presume that Ireland has a chance. In fact, this might be their best shot in recent history. It would be a shame if they didn’t make it, especially because Greece is only three points ahead. The two teams will face off on October 13th, which will likely be the decider for a potential second-place finish.
Of course, one has to account for the Netherlands waking up from their slumber. There will be trouble if Noa Lang, Memphis Depay, and others begin clicking once again. Remember, it’s still early, and the Dutch are equal on points with Ireland. If they manage to capitalize against France beforehand, the boys in green will get some much-needed wind in their sails before deciding their face.
Is the Match Against France a Throwaway?
One would think that France is the overwhelming favourite. However, they only won 1-0 thanks to an early goal by Pavard and a heroic performance by Mike Maignan. Seamus Coleman echoed everyone’s thoughts when he emphasized that Ireland deserved something. For what it’s worth, they did a good job of neutralizing Olivier Giroud. This will be the key to Ireland prevailing on September 7th.
Nevertheless, it’s not a given, especially with the firepower at France’s disposal. Although it’s clear Pavard’s goal allowed the French to rest a bit throughout the match, Ireland won’t make the same mistake again. Another key factor would be for Gavin Bazunu to keep his composure. Bookies have him as the City no. 1 in the next couple of years, so this is another chance for him to build his case.
Potential Second Place Decider
The EURO 2024 qualifiers are always drawn-out, and it doesn’t sit well with most teams. You have to remain concentrated throughout, as minor slips can be the decider between success and disappointment. But Ireland has a chance to be the team that capitalizes on someone else’s slip-ups.
Greece and Netherlands are facing off during Matchday 5, so a draw would be an ideal result for the Irish. As for the Dutch themselves, it’s unclear how they’ll handle things from now on. Something isn’t working, and if the lads can smell blood early on, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t snatch the opportunity.
However, Matchday 7 will be equally as important. Ireland will try to avenge the initial loss against Greece, while the Netherlands will have to best France. A lot of things have to go right for Ireland to claim that elusive second place. But if they remain composed, the results will come as long as the effort is there. Further matches will determine if they can provide it on a consistent basis.