In terms of the actual impact this game will have on World Cup qualification, the truth is, at this stage, it’s likely very little. The home team has no chance of qualifying for the 2022 tournament, while their Emerald Isle opponents do still have a statistical possibility, but the reality of them making it at this point is looking rather slim.
However, that doesn’t mean this game doesn’t have a great deal of importance. Both Azerbaijan and the Republic of Ireland have shown incredible promise for the future throughout this process. This could be a perfect platform, with most of the pressure off, to showcase their talents and learn more for future battles.
It’s tough to talk about Azerbaijan’s qualification process without discussing Emin Mahmudov: the man who has been a shining beacon of light even in tough times. He scored a brilliant, nearly game winning goal against the Republic of Ireland in their last meeting. He also sent shivers down the spine of opponents Luxumbourg and Serbia – even if it didn’t end in victory.
Plus, he’s been far from a one-man show, backed by a team slowly pushing forth with steady improvement. Unfortunately, all of this progress doesn’t change their position at the bottom of the league. But, in terms of betting tips, it might mean they come into this game quite underrated.
The Republic of Ireland is in a tough spot right now. There’s a great deal of controversy surrounding their current strategic trajectory under Stephen Kenny, and that scrutiny is easy to understand. The Republic of Ireland narrowly avoided relegation at the Nations League, failed to beat Slovakia to make it to the Euros and their last win outside of friendly competition was against Gibraltar back in 2019.
All that said, there are positives to their current approach. Look at the likes of Gavin Bazunu at only 19-years-old and you’ll see just how much potential there is on this squad – especially when backed up by the likes of Shane Duffy. Best of all, there’s so much room to grow. That’s what we hope to see more than anything else here: growth.
Well, there’s not that much history to speak of, considering these two sides have only ever taken each other on once. That was a little over a month ago. We’d pretty much say they largely remain mysteries to one another, although both will certainly be aware of the key players to look out for.
It’s one of the things we enjoy so much about this qualification process. It really does provide so many teams with the opportunity to go out and test themselves – especially teams in a state of flux like these two – against talents from all over the world.
Naturally, there’s not quite as many statistical considerations as many other competitions here. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty to consider, as the most recent outings tend to be our most important and relevant highlights regardless.
While we expect plenty of drama in the game itself, we think the result will actually be a rather neutral one, with a draw being the most likely and best value odds available.
There’s a trio of reasons why we see a draw being the most likely outcome here. None of them are especially complicated, but are vital to the dynamic of this game.
First off, it’s a result both have been familiar with. Alongside their head to head contest, the Republic of Ireland recently went to the same result with Serbia. They’ve also ended against Hungary and Qatar without a winner. Azerbaijan went to four 0-0 stalemates in a row against Luxembourg, Montenegro, Slovenia and Cyprus. Of course, their only meeting went 1-1.
Finally, the closeness of their form and the relative lack of stakes typically makes for ideal stalemate conditions. Despite this, you’re getting what we would consider to be pretty strong odds on a draw, making that an excellent recommendation in our opinion.