At a time of the year when not many people are concentrating on football, the Republic of Ireland will certainly be focused as they face Austria on Sunday. A win here would take them a step closer to qualifying for the World Cup and it would also make qualifying very difficult for Austria, the favourites before a ball was kicked in this group.
The Republic are tied at the top of Group D with Serbia, behind them only on goal difference and with a four point cushion over Austria, that could become seven after this weekend. With Serbia still to travel across to Ireland, it has to be said that the favourites to win this group right now are the Republic Of Ireland.
Austria have played okay in qualifying so far but when they have faced the Republic Of Ireland and Serbia they have fallen short. After a home loss to the Republic, there is no reason to think Austria can head to Ireland and pick anything up in this crucial game.
Although this game comes right in the middle of the off-season, I am sure it’s importance has kept the Irish players focused on the task at hand. Qualifying for the World Cup is a huge thing for them and they will have been focused on this since the domestic season’s ended in May.
Not only do I fancy the Republic Of Ireland to win this game, but I also fancy them to top the group and qualify for the World Cup. Their games to come are favourable and the have been performing very well recently in what always looked like a group they could do well in. Everything has gone well so far for the Irish, they need to continue their progress by taking three valuable points on Sunday at home to Austria.