The Girls in Green face the highly rated Spanish side in Madrid (KO 5pm Irish time) and local star Katie McCabe will be one of the players Ireland look to carry the challenge to the hosts.
As they get to the business end of the qualifying phase for next years European Championships, Ireland will need to take something from what promises to be a very big challenge, but they come into the game in good form having won 5-0 win away to Montenegro on Thursday. Spain are also flying after recording a fine 4-1 win away to Portugal on Friday. Ireland’s previous meeting with the Spanish ended in a 3-0 defeat in Tallaght Stadium back in November.
Group leaders Spain have a 100% record in the group so far with five wins from five in Group 2, scoring 18 goals in the process, while Ireland are level on points with second placed Finland (having played a game more) with two wins and two defeats from their four games.
Ireland captain Emma Byrne, who won her 125th cap against Montenegro, said in an interview with FAI TV that the squad is still very focused on qualifying from the group. She said:
“Qualification has been our aim from the very start. The result against Finland was a bit of a knock back and a blow for us because we were expecting to beat them. It doesn’t hinder us in any way because we are still in with a great chance of qualifying. Spain are number one seeds and a really good team, but there is no reason why, that if we perform well that we can’t go out and beat them.“
You can watch the full interview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E00ycJIt8Gk
Republic of Ireland Head Coach Sue Ronan was unable to pick full back Sophie Perry for the game due to work commitments while Shelbourne ‘keeper Niamh Reid-Burke is still ruled out with an ankle injury.
Live updates of the game will be provided on https://www.fai.ie as well as the Official FAIreland Facebook, Instagram & Twitter accounts before, during and after the game.