Soccer Scene

Preview: Georgia - Republic of Ireland
World Cup Qualifier
06.09.2008 at 18:00 - Wildparkstadion, Mainz Germany

Giovanni Trapattoni takes charge of his first competitive game as Republic of Ireland begin their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The match has been switched to a neutral venue due to the conflict in Georgia and will take place in Mainz, Germany.

Ireland will be hoping to make a winning start before they travel to Montenegro for their second qualifier next Wednesday.

Trapattoni insists that it is vital for his side to return to Ireland next week still unbeaten and in a good position to challenge Group 8 heavyweights Italy and Bulgaria.

Ireland have yet to be defeated since Trapattoni replaced temporary boss Don Givens in May, with two draws and a victory from three games.
Hunt call

Trapattoni has had time to assess his players but will be without influential winger Damien Duff after he picked up a groin injury in action for Newcastle.

Reading's Stephen Hunt will replace Duff but is set to line up on the right flank with Aiden McGeady on the left.

Trapattoni has already confirmed his team and has given the nod to Glenn Whelan ahead of Andy Reid in central midfield.

Kevin Kilbane has been passed fit to play despite fracturing his cheekbone last weekend, although the Wigan man will have to wear a protective mask.

Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle will lead the line, with Steven Reid alongside Whelan, Hunt and McGeady in midfield.

Goalkeeper Shay Given will be shielded by a back four of Steve Finnan, John O'Shea, Richard Dunne and Kilbane.

Georgia hope

The political situation in Georgia is likely to prove an added motivation for Hector Cuper's side.

Georgia had wanted to stage the match at home despite Ireland's concerns, and skipper Kakha Kaladze has expressed his fury at Fifa's decision to move it to Germany.

AC Milan defender Kaladze will be a major obstacle for Ireland to negotiate and Georgia will be confident of taking something from the game.

They have shown signs of improvement in recent years and destroyed Scotland's chances of reaching Euro 2008 with a famous 2-0 win last October.

Cuper is also an experienced coach, although he has only been at the helm since August.

Georgia follow their match against Ireland with a trip to world champions Italy next Wednesday.


H / A / N Matches W D L Goals + / -
H 6 6 0 0 11 - 1 +10
A 5 3 2 0 7 - 4 +3
N 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 +0
Total 11 9 2 0 18 - 5 +13

Date&time Comp. H / A / N Final score
12.10.2019 at 17:00 European Cup Qualifier A 0 - 0
26.03.2019 at 19:45 European Cup Qualifier H 1 - 0
02.09.2017 at 20:00 World Cup Qualifier A 1 - 1
06.10.2016 at 19:45 World Cup Qualifier H 1 - 0
07.09.2015 at 20:45 European Cup Qualifier H 1 - 0
07.09.2014 at 19:45 European Cup Qualifier A 2 - 1
02.06.2013 at 15:00 Friendly H 4 - 0
11.02.2009 at 19:45 World Cup Qualifier H 2 - 1
06.09.2008 at 18:00 World Cup Qualifier A 2 - 1
11.06.2003 at 00:00 European Cup Qualifier H 2 - 0
29.03.2003 at 00:00 European Cup Qualifier A 2 - 1
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