After an eight month long campaign, it's time to put up or shut up for Ireland . Three points will be required from next week's qualifier against Denmark, otherwise we will be faced with the torturous route of the Nations League play-offs.
The good news is we have plenty of players in good form heading into that game. David McGoldrick and the rest of our Sheffield United contingent are flying at the minute, while the Ciaran Clark renaissance continues.
Here's how our internationals got on over the weekend.
Irish Player Ratings
Jeff Hendrick started on the right for Burnley in their 3-0 win over West Ham, putting in a decent performance in a position where he seems to be thriving. Robbie Brady came off the bench in injury time.
Ciaran Clark was back amongst the goals once again at the weekend, scoring Newcastle's second in the 2-1 win.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 11, 2019
He put in a superb overall performance, getting man-of-the-match honours and earning a rating of 9/10 from Chronicle Live.
Michael Obafemi came off the bench in injury time as Southampton lost 2-1 at home to Southampton.
It was another cracking weekend for the Irish lads at Sheffield United, with Chris Wilder's side securing a 1-1 draw away at Spurs. David McGoldrick found the back of the net in that one, only to have the goal controversially ruled out for offside.
The striker put in a cracking display in that one, as displayed by these stats:
David Mcgoldrick was the best player on the pitch by a mile today.
1 ridiculously disallowed goal
4 shot assists
2/2 Dribble successes
5/6 won ground duels
52 touches as a forward!
81% pass acc
Pressing machine, the best link up man, just a baller
— BA Analytics (@Blades_analytic) November 9, 2019
Quite simply one of the best performances I’ve seen from an individual in a sheff United shirt - David McGoldrick - outstanding. #sufc
— Jack Ashbourne🏴 (@JackAshbourne) November 9, 2019
He got a 7/10 from the Sheffield Star, while John Egan and Enda Stevens 7/10. Callum Robinson played the final five minutes off the bench.
Matt Doherty put in an excellent performance in Wolves' 2-1 win over Aston Villa. He got an 8/10 from the Express & Star, who were hugely impressed with his performance:
An attacking force on that right flank. Villa could not handle him or Traore in this game. He helped Wolves dominate on that wing and was unlucky not to have added to his goal tally.
Made his mark on the game and looked the fittest he has been in weeks.
Brighton fell to a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford, with both Shane Duffy and Aaron Connolly starting. They both put in decent shifts, getting 6/10 from the Brighton & Hove Independent. However, Connolly suffered a potential groin injury, and will undergo a scan later today to determine his fitness ahead of the New Zealand and Denmark games.
In the Championship, James Collins started in Luton Town's 3-0 loss at Reading. He got 6/10 from Luton Today, and was the pick of the players from his team.
James McClean started the first game of the Michael O'Neill era at Stoke, a 4-2 win at Barnsley. He won a penalty and was rated at 8/10 from the Stoke Sentinel.
Jayson Molumby was in the Millwall midfield for the 2-1 win over Chartlon, impressing once again. He is certainly becoming a fan favourite at The Den.
— Millwall FC (@MillwallFC) November 9, 2019
Josh Cullen started for the visitors, hitting the bar at one stage and earning a 7/10 from News Shopper.
Preston remain top of the Championship after their 3-1 win over Huddersfield, with Alan Browne and Sean Maguire both playing the full 90 minutes. Browne was amongst the goals, producing this tidy finish to grab the home side's second of the afternoon.
— Coach Matt Balshaw (@mbalshaw17) November 9, 2019
Both he and Maguire were given 8/10 by the Lancashire Evening Post, who mentioned Browne was 'back to his best' after a poor run of form to begin the season.
Darren Randolph was back in the Middlesbrough team for the 2-2 draw at QPR, alleviating any injury concerns ahead of the crunch qualifier against Denmark. He was solid, getting a 7/10 from the Hartlepool Mail.
Ryan Manning started for the home side. He was marked as a 6/10 by West London Sport, who mentioned he looks far more effective in a more traditional left back role as opposed to left wingback.
Blackburn fell to a 2-1 defeat at Leeds, with Derrick Williams scoring their only goal of the game. He operated at left back, scoring this towering header from a corner.
He was rated at 7/10 by Lancs Live.
Callum O'Dowda was in the Bristol City team for their 1-0 win at Cardiff, getting 8/10 from the Bristol Post for a strong display.