Republic of Ireland-Kazakhstan Preview: King's troops aiming to end disappointing qualification campaign on a high
The Green Army have not tasted victory in five matches, a streak that has seen them drop out of contention for Brazil 2014, but will want to go out with a bang
Republic of Ireland will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they host Kazakhstan in their final World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
The Irish are without a win in five games, with their latest setback, a 3-0 humbling by Germany on Friday, having ended their slim hopes of finishing second in Group C.
Interim manager Noel King, who took temporary charge after the departure of Giovanni Trapattoni last month, must now try and boost his team ahead of the dead rubber fixture at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, as Ireland can only move from fourth to third if there is a 10-goal swing with Austria.
Despite a poor campaign, midfielder Glenn Whelan has called on the side to complete their fixtures with a flourish and believes they must show more attacking intent.
"We have got to finish on a high how," he said. "We know the group has been disappointing.
"For this [Germany] game, Noel [King] spoke about defending, but come Tuesday we would love him to let the reins off a little bit and go out on a high against Kazakhstan and give the fans something to cheer about."
Ireland's record goalscorer Robbie Keane was only named among the substitutes against Germany, but he could return to reclaim the captain's armband from Everton's Seamus Coleman.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan head into the fixture in the knowledge they will finish fifth in Group C, as they trail Ireland by six points, but cannot be caught by bottom place Faroe Islands.
Their solitary success in the group came in a 2-1 triumph over Faroe Islands in September, but they were defeated 2-1 by Ireland in the reverse fixture last September thanks to late goals from Keane and Kevin Doyle.
Shakhter Karagandy striker Andrei Finonchenko is likely to lead the line for Miroslav Beranek's side, and will look to add to his two goals in qualifying thus far.
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Top 3 Predictions
Ireland 2-0 Kazakhstan
- 20.37 %
Ireland 1-0 Kazakhstan
- 9.26 %
Ireland 3-0 Kazakhstan
- 9.26 %
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Oct 15, 2013||Ireland 3 - Kazakhstan 1|
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Sep 7, 2012||Kazakhstan 1 - Ireland 2|
|Nov 19, 2013||Poland 0 - Ireland 0||FR|
|Nov 15, 2013||Ireland 3 - Latvia 0||FR|
|Oct 15, 2013||Ireland 3 - Kazakhstan 1||WCQ|
|Oct 11, 2013||Germany 3 - Ireland 0||WCQ|
|Sep 10, 2013||Austria 1 - Ireland 0||WCQ|