Republic of Ireland vs Netherlands predictions: Dutch delight to break Irish hearts
- Republic of Ireland have lost three of their four Euro 2024 qualifiers
- Netherlands have lost just one of their last six Euro qualifiers away from home
- Recommended bet: Netherlands to win and BTTS
After losing three of their opening four Euro 2024 qualifiers, the Republic of Ireland can hardly afford any more slip-ups as they prepare to take on the Netherlands at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.
Thursday's 2-0 defeat to France has left Stephen Kenny's side fourth in the Group B standings, three points behind the Dutch in second and with time running out if they are to secure automatic qualification for next summer's finals in Germany.
Netherlands underlined their qualifying credentials with a resounding 3-0 victory over third-placed Greece last time out and a win in Dublin would further boost their hopes of finishing in the top two in the group.
Ireland were already without star forward Evan Ferguson for this international break due to a knee problem and they were dealt further blows against France, as Will Keane (abductor) and Enda Stevens (calf) were both forced off during that contest.
Kenny has conceded both players are "extremely unlikely" to face the Dutch, with James McClean one of the players in contention to come into the XI for what would be his 102nd cap.
Dutch coach Ronald Koeman also has fitness concerns to contend with, as Manchester City defender Nathan Ake was replaced at half-time of the victory over Greece with a reported hamstring issue, although he could yet be passed fit.
Ireland have lost three of their four Euro 2024 qualifiers, with their only victory to date coming against group minnows Gibraltar.
The Boys in Green do have an impressive home record in European Championship qualifying, however, losing just one of their last 16 such matches on Irish soil.
They have also lost just one of their five meetings with the Dutch since the turn of the millennium, although that sole defeat was a 4-0 hammering in Dublin.
Netherlands have lost three of their five games since last year's World Cup, but they do have a good record in away Euro qualifiers, losing just one of their last six.
It has been a tough Euro qualifying campaign for Ireland, but two of their three defeats have been to World Cup finalists France and they had chances in both of those games.
In their two other qualifying matches, against Gibraltar and Greece, the Republic have scored a combined four goals and they will be hopeful of getting on the scoresheet against a Dutch side who have only kept two clean sheets in their last seven matches.
The problem for Ireland is they do not just need goals, they need points as well, and it is hard to see them avoiding defeat against the Oranje.
Netherlands' form may have been patchy since Koeman's return as head coach after the World Cup, but they were a class above the Greeks on Thursday and should have too much for Ireland as well, with the majority inside the Aviva Stadium on Sunday likely to leave disappointed.
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