Sky Live: Republic of Ireland vs Georgia: Mick McCarthy prepares for home game
Watch Republic of Ireland vs Georgia live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm on Tuesday; kick-off at 7.45pm
Last Updated: 26/03/19 6:32pm
Mick McCarthy is set to make his return to Dublin as Republic of Ireland host Georgia in their European Qualifiers Group D clash on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm.
McCarthy is preparing for his first home game of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign at the Aviva Stadium after the Republic edged past Gibraltar away from home with a 1-0 win on Saturday evening.
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The 60-year-old says he is looking forward to the occasion as they look to make it two wins out of two.
He said: "I'm very excited about managing in Dublin again. Can't wait to stand there, being the manager and hearing the national anthem. I'm very, very excited and am looking forward to it.
"My job is to get the team qualified and get the victories we need. Home games are always important, it will always be the case. If you can put in a performance as well, that is the aim."
Darren Randolph is in no danger of underestimating Georgia. The goalkeeper said: "They're not a terrible team, they're a very good team. It will be a tough one tomorrow."
The Republic have now scored only five goals in their last 10 games and their lack of creativity remains a major concern.
Midfielder Jeff Hendrick, who scored the winner in Gibraltar, said when asked about a disappointing 2018: "We didn't score enough goals recently and that's down to us as players."
McCarthy revealed central defender Shane Duffy, who did not train at Abbotstown on Monday morning, is to undergo a precautionary scan on an ankle injury he suffered in Georgia.
McCarthy said: "Shane has got a sore ankle, so we have just left him out today. He's going to have a scan to see if there's anything serious - I don't think there is. I'm hopeful he'll be okay, but he might not be."
- Republic of Ireland have won eight and drawn one of their nine previous meetings with Georgia in all competitions, with their sole draw coming in the most recent encounter back in September 2017 (1-1).
- Republic of Ireland have won each of their five previous home meetings against Georgia by an aggregate score of 10-1.
- Ireland are looking to win back-to-back matches for the first time since October 2017 (v Moldova and Wales); they had only won one of their 11 matches since then before beating Gibraltar last time out (D5 L5).
- On home soil, Republic of Ireland have failed to score in their last three matches in all competitions - they've never gone on a longer scoreless run at home in their history.
- Georgia haven't lost back-to-back matches since October 2017 when they lost to Wales and Serbia; they were beaten 0-2 by Switzerland in their last outing.
- Georgia haven't drawn any of their last 12 European Championship qualifying matches, winning three and losing nine since a 1-1 stalemate with Malta in September 2011.
- Ireland haven't gone four home games without a win in all competitions since May 2008, a run which they followed up with back-to-back wins that included one over Georgia.
- Against Gibraltar, Jeff Hendrick became the first Irish player to score for the national side under Mick McCarthy since Clinton Morrison netted against Russia in September 2002, 16 years and 197 days before.
Georgia like a scrap and a physical battle but there is a mistake in there. The passion of the crowd for the first game at home will mean they are up for it and they will see where it takes them.
It is a must-win scenario when you face these sorts of teams that you expect to finish above. The midfield strength will prove telling for Ireland, they will not dominate by goals but by sheer determination.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: Rep of Ireland 1-0 Georgia