Here’s the low down on the Moldova side Ireland have to beat tomorrow

Ireland head into Friday night’s World Cup qualifier against Moldova knowing anything other than victory over the Group D basement boys could end their hopes of making it to Russia next summer.

Here we take a look at the team Ireland need to beat to set up a potential winner-takes-all trip to Wales three days later.

FORM

Moldova sit at the foot of the Group D table having taken just two points from their eight games to date, drawing home and away with fifth-placed Georgia. They lost 3-0 in Serbia last month, but three days later caused Wales problems in Chisinau, where they got to 80 minutes at 0-0 before Hal Robson-Kanu’s strike and a second in stoppage time from Aaron Ramsey spared the visitors’ blushes.

COACH

Igor Dobrovolski made his name as a midfielder at Nistru Chisinau before earning a move to Dinamo Moscow, and won Olympic gold with the Soviet Union in 1988 as well as representing his country at senior level at the 1990 World Cup and 1992 and 1996 European Championship finals. He also played in Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and France, but returned to Moldova in 2005 to launch his coaching career and is currently in his second spell as national team boss having led them to a best-ever total of 12 points during qualification for Euro 2008.

[timgcap=Moldova and Ireland players get involved in a little push and shove during their 2016 clash ]MoldovavIrelandOct16MartinONeillstepsinasplayersclash_large.jpg[/timg]

TACTICS

Dobrovolski has adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation for much of the campaign with lone striker Radu Ginsari the man asked to lead the line in recent games having taken over from Igor Bugaev. Alexandru Epureanu and Veaceslav Posmac have more often than not linked up in central defence with Andrei Cojocari and Alexandru Gatcan providing the shield in front of the back four.

PLAYERS

Goals have been in short supply for Moldova - they have managed just four to date - but their first of the qualification process from 33-year-old Bugaev, when he capitalised on Republic defender Shane Duffy’s error to race away and score, demonstrated the threat they can be if not closely marshalled. Moldova led 2-0 at home to Georgia with dangerous wide-man Alexandru Dedov among the scorers, while midfielder Alexandru Gatcan also has an eye for goal and skipper Epureanu is hugely experienced at the back.


Related Articles

Alexandre Lacazette says Arsenal need a miracle to win Premier League

Manchester clubs face ongoing recriminations over derby day fracas

Klopp and Rooney endure differing emotions after Merseyside derby draw

Premier League games to be played on Saturday nights for first time from 2019

More in this Section

Meet the Spurs fan who cheekily asked for a hug from Mauricio Pochettino

Cyclist Chris Froome fights for his career after adverse finding for asthma drug

Tommy Walsh: Con O’Callaghan has potential to be the next DJ Carey

Alexandre Lacazette says Arsenal need a miracle to win Premier League


Today's Stories

How Cian Healy used post-it notes to save his career

Simon Zebo hopes Munster door isn’t closed forever

Injured Cork City captain Johnny Dunleavy signs new contract

Positive approach pays dividends for Guardiola

Lifestyle

Meghan Markle’s sparkle sets the stage for must-have fashion items

Not buying Irish at Christmas costs us dearly

GameTech: B-listers offer plenty of gameplay

Judi Dench branching out into her other passion

More From The Irish Examiner