Ireland

Ireland vs Belgium

, KO: 17:00 Mar 23, 2024, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Belgium

IRELAND start their post-Stephen Kenny era by welcoming Belgium to Dublin as John O'Shea takes charge for the first time.

The former Manchester United defender is interim boss as the most protracted international manager hunt forever continues. He will have former Ireland boss Brian Kerr as a trusted lieutenant.

Hapless predecessor Kenny left in November, but the FAI have still yet to appoint a permanent successor. They promise they will next month and O'Shea's chances surely depend on two upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland with two heavyweight opposition.

Ireland's Euro 2024 campaign was disgraceful really with just two wins – both against no-hopers Gibraltar – and six defeats in their worst campaign for several decades.

His first squad saw no real radical changes and the Boys in Green will have their work cut out against Belgium.

Perennial big-tournament bottlers, the Belgians did their usual in sauntering through the qualifiers undefeated. They will undoubtedly be predicted to be dark horses to win Euro 2024 and almost certainly fail to deliver as they have done every two years since their ‘Golden Generation' were first lauded.

But Domenico Tedesco has the luxury of being able to call on an abundance of talent from the cream of European clubs…unlike their hosts.

How the bookies view it

Belgium are not as short as you might expect and can be backed at 21/20 with bet365.

Ireland are 27/10 with UniBet and the draw is 23/10 with Paddy Power.

Recent head to heads

The nations have only played twice. They met at Euro 2016 and Belgium romped to a 3-0 win at Bordeaux.

They also drew 2-2 two years ago in Dublin in a friendly.

Players to watch

Sammie Szmodics has been handed his first call-up after snubbing Euro 2024 Finalists Hungary to play for Ireland. The Blackburn Rovers man is the top scorer in the English Championship with 27 goals this season so has to be respected at 21/5 to score anytime with UniBet.

Arsenal ace Leandro Trossard has scored seven goals for Belgium and should start here. He is 3/1 to score anytime with bet365.

Anything else catch the eye?

Belgium look a steal here…even allowing for the fact it's a friendly. They have spots up for grabs at the Euros and they are 58 places above their hosts in the FIFA Rankings.

They were very consistent in qualifying and only conceded four goals in their eight qualifiers. They must have a very good chance of shutting out an Ireland side who must be lacking in morale after such a dismal campaign.

Back a Belgium win to nil at 5/2 with BetVictor.

This match between Ireland and Belgium will be played on Mar 23, 2024 and kick off at 17:00. Check below for our tipsters best Ireland vs Belgium prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Ireland vs Belgium Betting Tips & Predictions
Belgium
21/20
Bet365
Belgium to win to nil
5/2
BetVictor
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