And so Ireland starts out on the long road to qualification again, this time for the biggest stage of all, the World Cup, due to be held in Russia in 2018. Having not qualified for a World Cup since 2002, Ireland will be looking to convert the new-found optimism surrounding the team into a solid campaign.
Having gotten our campaign off to a decent away start on Monday night with a 2-2 draw against Serbia, October 6th will see a familiar foe coming to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in the form of Georgia. By the end of qualification, we will have faced the men from the Caucasus’ five times in the space of five years! With this in mind we should know them better than any other team in the world. The match will be a stiff test however as the stubborn Georgians always tend to play a very defensive game away from home.
Ireland will of course be entering into a new era following the departure of record goalscorer Robbie Keane. Though his impact had been waning in recent years, his retirement, along with that of Shay Given, sees the loss of nearly 300 caps of experience from the squad and that knowledge of how to see off difficult opponents can often be vital in tight games.
On the other hand, it means more of the spotlight will me shone on Ireland’s stars of the next generation, like Jeff Hendrick and Shane Long. Also, though we were lucky to escape with a 2-1 victory in Tblisi in 2014, thanks to a late piece of McGeady magic, the combined scores of Georgia’s last two visits to Dublin is 5-0. Naturally a single goal victory will satisfy Martin O’Neill but it is also an opportunity for Ireland to make a statement of intent in a relatively easy group.
It promises to be an exciting night as always in the Aviva Stadium and the pre-match build up around the area beforehand will get anyone in the mood. So why get fussed about taxis and buses when you can set up in the centre of the craic with accommodation from Your Home From Home. Our luxury self-catering apartments are only a short walk from the stadium, so there will be no hassle or worry about traffic or getting to the game. What’s more, with our fantastic discounts when you book online you can get your own apartment for yourself and friends or family for a fraction of what a hotel would cost!