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GEORGIA VS IRELAND

Georgia 1-1 Ireland: 2018 World Cup qualifier match report, goals, as it happened

Ireland got off to a dream start against Georgia with a goal in the opening five minutes but the ceded control and gave up an equaliser as their grip on autmoatic qualification loosens.

Update:
Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Georgia vs Republic of Ireland - Tbilisi, Georgia - September 2, 2017   Republic Of Ireland's Shane Long in action   REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
DAVID MDZINARISHVILIREUTERS

Georgia vs Republic of Ireland live stream online: latest news

Georgia vs Republic of Ireland: World Cup qualifying preview

The Republic of Ireland and Serbia sit atop Group D in World Cup qualifying on the same number of points (12) and the former will be looking to take advantage of the two teams below them playing each other when Wales take on Austria.

A draw in that game will seriously hurt both of their chances to qualify while a win for Ireland against second from bottom side Georgia in Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena on Saturday night will put them in excellent shape with a game against Serbia in Ireland to come.

Georgia

The only time Vladimir Weiss' side have failed to score in just one of their six games in Group D's qualifying to date. That was against Ireland in the Aviva and while they have failed to win in those six games, they have managed three draws.

Georgia are all but ruled out of qualifying for next summer's World Cup but will provide a handful against Ireland. Their last game in qualifying came in June when they drew 2-2 with Moldova as Valeri Qazaishvili and Giorgi Merebashvili score with Georgia 2-0 down to bring them back level. They might not have the chance to have their own party in Russia next year but they could very well ruin someone else's plans and Ireland need to be wary of not taking their eye off the ball.

Republic of Ireland

Martin O'Neil declared that Jon Walters is fit to play on Saturday night and said he is "delighted" with the news that his talisman is back as both his main striker and John O'Shea trained fully ahead of the clash on Saturday night. David McGoldrick has withdrawn from the squad but the addition of Walters, Ireland's top goalscorer in qualifying along with James McClean with four goals, is a massive boost heading into a crucial week during O'Neill's tenure.

"We're in a very good position. It's still in our hands, which is nice. We'll concentrate on Saturday and move on from there," said Darren Randolph as he looks set to start in goals in Tbilsi.

"Georgia seems a tough place to go. For me personally, I'm not bothered about the performance as long as we get the win and get points on the board, especially at this stage of the group," he continued, which is surely a point being echoed by many in Ireland as they continue to look to rack up point in pursuit of, at least, a runner-up spot in their group.

Georgia vs Republic of Ireland: potential starting line-ups

Georgia XI: Makaridze; Navalovski, Kasia, Lobjanidze, Kvirkvelia, Tabidze; Kankava, Daushvili, Ananidze, Qazaishvili; Dvalishvili.

Head coach: Vladimir Weiss

Republic of Ireland XI: Randolph; Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward; McClean, Whelan, Arter, Brady; Walters, Long.

Head coach: Martin O'Neill

Georgia vs Republic of Ireland live stream online: betting

The Reublic of Ireland are the bookies' favourites to claim the three points in Tbilisi, with the visitors priced at €1.85 per euro bet to win. Georgia, meanwhile, are valued back at €5.00.

Place your bet on Georgia vs Republic of Ireland here.

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