Don’t expect goals against the Swiss; Henshaw, Sexton and Earls to return

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Republic of Ireland take on Switzerland tonight at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Republic of Ireland take on Switzerland tonight at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

If Ireland can beat Switzerland in their fifth European Championships qualifier tonight, they’ll have engineered a genuine advantage that Mick McCarthy believes his players could maintain to the end of the campaign. “We’ve watched them over a couple of games – two or three games, actually – and they like to dominate a team with possession, and we’ll be doing our very best to stop that,” explains the Irish manager. Emmet Malone has also named a probable team, containing Glenn Whelan and Sheffield United duo Callum Robinson and David McGoldrick. Anybody hoping for a goal-fest tonight should be aware Switzerland rarely score or concede, as explained in this guide to the wonderful world of Swiss football.

Joe Schmidt and Warren Gatland are expected to name near full-strength sides today for Saturday’s final World Cup warm-up match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Gerry Thornley has revealed his probable team, and he’s rarely too far off with these predictions, with returns due for Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw and Keith Earls.

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