Home » Republic of Ireland v Switzerland: All you need to know

Republic of Ireland v Switzerland: All you need to know

Republic of Ireland v Switzerland: All you need to know


International friendly: Republic of Ireland v Switzerland, Tuesday 7:45pm, Aviva Stadium.


Watch on Virgin Media Two from 7pm.


Listen to live commentary on RTÉ 2fm’s Game On with coverage starting at 6pm.


Follow a live blog on rte.ie/sport and the RTÉ News App.


A chilly evening appears to be in store for those heading to Lansdowne Road, although it should at least be dry, with blustery winds and highs of 6C come kick-off.


A better performance and result than was feared is probably the verdict to take from Saturday’s scoreless draw with Belgium at the Aviva.

As Ireland supporters continue to sit in the departure lounge waiting for an FAI managerial flight which may or may not take off, there were positives to take from the result against the fourth ranked team in the world.

Ireland restricted Belgium to just one genuine clear-cut chance as Caoimhín Kelleher strengthened his claim to the number one shirt with a big save from Thomas Meunier, and were a misplaced spot-kick away from claiming a big scalp.

With no clarity from the FAI as to whether or not O’Shea is actually in the running for the Ireland job on a permanent basis, all he can do now is make the most of the opportunity afforded him against the Swiss – so wholesale changes on the selection front are unlikely.

A similar line-up and approach to that we saw on Saturday is almost certain from the interim Ireland manager, with a 3-4-3 set-up likely again.

Sammie Szmodics certainly did enough on his debut to earn another cap, while O’Shea will be eager to give Evan Ferguson another runout up front after a disappointing day against the Belgians, missing from the penalty spot and not getting much change from their defence.

Will Smallbone and Josh Cullen both impressed in midfield, and O’Shea is expected to look to them in the centre of the park again, while Jake O’Brien should see some minutes, having watched on from the bench at the weekend.

O’Shea has a full squad choose from, with no major injuries coming from the Belgian game.

“It’s pretty much a clean bill of health for everyone,” said O’Shea. “A few lads are a little bit leggy, a few bumps, and tight muscle areas and will need a little bit extra attention in training today.

“Andy Moran and Joe Hodge joined in a little bit of training yesterday and were very good, so all in a good spot really.

“Like all the lads training today, they’ll have a very good opportunity of making their debuts but we’ll be assessing that after training.”

Will Smallbone


While O’Shea has been understandably coy on his future and refusing to be drawn as to whether or not he’ll be involved in the Irish set-up after Tuesday evening, his players have been effusive in their praise of the interim boss.

The manager isn’t looking beyond the next week or so, and while he admitted that he’s hopeful of a ‘few conversations’ with the FAI, he wouldn’t be drawn further.

“Hopefully there will be a few things happening, but hopefully I will be going back for Easter holidays with my kids, so we’ll do something with them, and then get back into the swing of things with them and hopefully go to watch games and have a few conversations here and there.”

O’Shea’s players have been far more forthcoming when speaking about the interim manager, pointing to his clear communication in what he wanted from the players and how he wanted them to set up against Belgium.

“I think he has been brilliant this week,” was the verdict from Smallbone. “He has got his message across clearly. He’s a good man manager, I think he’s obviously got an abundance of experience from his playing days and I think him getting that across in a managerial way is very important.”

Josh Cullen was similarly impressed by O’Shea and his backroom staff of Brian Kerr and Paddy McCarthy.

“The way they’ve come in, and the atmosphere they’ve created around the place first and foremost,” he said.

“The detail they’ve gone in such a short period of time to prepare us for the game, it’s been absolutely brilliant. It’s been great to work under them.”

Swiss captain Granit Xhaka


Switzerland come into the game in Dublin chasing their first win since a scratchy 3-0 win at home to Andorra last September.

A kind Euro 2024 qualifying draw saw them edge out Israel for the second automatic qualifying spot in their Group, finishing well behind group winners Romania but with four draws and a defeat to Romania from their last five games, they appear to be a side in transition.

A scoreless draw with Denmark at the weekend was a tetchy affair, with the Swiss ultimately frustrating their more adventurous and aggressive opponents.

First-choice goalkeeper Yann Sommer was injured in that game and has since returned to Inter Milan for treatment.

Lorient goalkeeper Yvon Mvongo, who replaced Sommer against the Danes, looks set to start in his place against Ireland.

Switzerland manager Murat Yakin went with the Premier League duo of Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji in central defence against the Danes and is likely to stick with that pairing, following their clean sheet at the weekend.

Yakin sparked some debate in Switzerland when starting talismanic attacker Xherdan Shaqiri on the bench against Denmark and although the 32-year-old was introduced late in the match, eyebrows were still raised at the team selection.

Shaqiri, now plying his trade in the MLS, may again have to settle for a place on the bench.

“The decision was not against Xherdan, but for Ruben (Vargas) and Noah (Okafor),” Yakin said when asked about it.

“Everyone has to know and accept their role.”

Follow a live blog on Republic of Ireland v Switzerland this Tuesday from 7.30pm on rte.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app and listen to commentary on 2fm’s Game On