Aviva Stadium, Monday 10 June, kick-off 7.45pm
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ELSEWHERE IN GROUP D
Denmark host Georgia in Copenhagen at 7:45pm.
No Judge but the jury is still out
Alan Judge broke his wrist at the end of the match in Denmark and the manager admitted since that he was thinking of starting him against Georgia.
A trip to the surgery and performing his groomsman’s duties at his friend’s wedding will now keep the Ipswich man busy this week.
"Judgey is going for an op tomorrow," said McCarthy. "He had it set so he could travel back with us. He is a groomsman at a wedding today, so it will be interesting to see how his suit fits him. But he’s alright, he was in good spirits."
But while the team’s spirits are also up as a result of that great point for Ireland on Friday in Copenhagen, the performance was lacking for a large period of that second half, leading up to the Denmark goal, and McCarthy admitted that there is a lot of room for improvement.
"I don't know whether it's a rush to score a goal, you go from that crash, bang, wallop mentality to get the ball back, which you have got to have, that real aggression, then the pulse rate needs to come down a bit and calm down and pass the ball to each other."
"No easy games..." etc etc
Ireland captain Seamus Coleman admitted that the away game in Gibraltar was one that the players wanted to get out of their system as soon as possible. Thankfully, they only had to wait for a few days to take on Georgia where they turned in a better performance,
"It was one we wanted to forget about as quickly as possible," said Coleman at the pre-match press conference.
"We got the three points which was what we wanted, everybody expected us to win by more but ask any of the players - the wind was crazy and all over the place. It was their first game at home too which made it more difficult too, they were right up for it.
"So we have to prepare the same again, at international level there are no easy games and we have to make sure we are fully prepared to get all three points tomorrow."
Shake it Up...?
McCarthy only has eight competitive games in charge to guide Ireland through to Euro 2020, so it is no surprise that he is looking to create an established side to bring continuity to the team.
The same starting XI played against Georgia and again in Copenhagen, but with the three-day turnaround an issue, especially at the end of the season, the manager will surely make changes.
Callum O’Dowda, Matt Doherty, Josh Cullen and Callum Robinson must all be in the manager’s thoughts but McCarthy will still want that continuity to take his side into the Gibraltar match, so expect no more than two or three changes from the XI.
"I haven’t informed the players yet what the team is, and there’s no problem with that as we’ve been together for three weeks and whatever I decide to do they are all willing and able to play in the position they’ll be playing in.
"Josh [Cullen] has been excellent and he's made a real valid case to get a game," added McCarthy, before mentioning that he was very happy with those who played in midfield on Friday.
Coleman on the Sunday Game?
With players either taking the route into coaching or media work when they finally hang up their boots, perhaps captain Coleman is looking for a change of code.
While several of the squad went to Tallaght Stadium to watch Shamrock Rovers take on Derry City on Saturday night, the captain set off for Cavan’s Kingspan Breffni Park to watch his home county Donegal take on and beat Tyrone.
"I’m glad I asked the manager’s permission before I went as I’m sure he would have found out by now," joked Coleman.
"It was great to go, thankfully the manager let me pop out for a couple of hours. It was great to see Donegal win and play so well.
"Hopefully, they can get that Ulster title again and go from there. I thought they were very dangerous going forward and my own clubmen, Eoin Bán Gallagher and Hugh McFadden did very well, and Ryan McHugh is a great player. They have great players all around the pitch and hopefully they can win the final."
Watch out Joe Brolly.
Can Georgia do Ireland a favour?
While Ireland take on Gibraltar, the Danes are back in action at the Parken Stadium to take on Georgia, who come into the game full of confidence following their 3-0 victory over Gibraltar on Friday. Georgia have already failed to take anything from fixtures against Ireland and Switzerland and will probably come up short against the Danes who will need a quick pick-me-up following the disappointment of dropping two points at home to Ireland.
Georgia in Tbilisi will prove a different proposition, and Ireland and Denmark both still have to visit. Switzerland will be very happy with the 2-0 win they managed at the hostile away arena.
The slender victory in Gibraltar will have no bearing on this game and Ireland will win comfortably. They may not get the seven that they got back in 2014 when Robbie Keane bagged a hat-trick, but once Ireland get the opening goal, the floodgates should open.
Prediction: Ireland 5-0 Gibraltar
Follow Ireland v Gibraltar via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app. Watch the match live on RTÉ2 or listen to national radio commentary on RTÉ 2fm's Game On.