Gibraltar will look to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Ireland when they take on Estonia in an international match tomorrow evening at the Victoria Stadium.
Photo © C Correa Photography
Julio Ribas was extremely keen to point out he isn’t treating the match as a friendly, despite the fact no points are at stake, and is preparing for it just as he did Ireland three days prior.
After the narrow defeat on Saturday, where Gib could have easily taken points on another day, this match provides a number of the squad the chance to banish any lingering demons from the last meeting against Estonia, a humbling 6-0 defeat in Faro, near the end of Jeff Wood’s time in charge of the side.
In fact, this will be the fifth meeting between the two sides – the game will see Estonia make up over 13% of Gibraltar’s total games since joining UEFA in 2013. Estonia have won three of the previous four encounters, with Jake Gosling’s goal earning a draw in Tallinn in 2014 .
As always, Ribas gave away no team news, although after missing the cut for the 23-man squad, Brad Power and Jeremy Lopez are likely to be in the squad for tomorrow’s game. The Gib Head Coach did suggest he would wait until after training today to assess any potential knocks from Saturday’s match, which could have a knock-on effect on his selection for the match.
Estonia come into the game off the back of a 2-0 defeat away at Northern Ireland, and had a disappointing Nations League campaign where they were relegated to League D – Gib could end up playing them again in the autumn of 2020.
They have fewer household names than Ireland did, and experienced former Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan is not in the squad for the match – they do however have Mattias Kait, on the books at Fulham, and a scorer in the 6-0 victory back in 2017.
At the time of writing, Gibraltar were 13/2 underdogs to pick up victory like they did 12 months ago to the day against Latvia; a draw is 18/5 while Estonia are 2/5 favourites for victory. An identical repeat of the Latvia win, a 1-0 success, is 20/1, while if you fancy goals to be in short supply, under 2.5 goals is currently 11/10.
FG Predicted XI:
We expect a few changes to the side from Saturday, with knocks and tired legs no doubt a reason for it, but we wouldn’t expect Ribas to make wholesale changes – with the league returning on Thursday we would expect all available subs (six can be made in the game) to be utilised though.
Goldwin; Sergeant, Annesley, J. Chipolina, Olivero; Mouelhi; Hernandez, Pishu, Walker, De Barr; Styche
Tomorrow’s game is free to enter if you can make, for more info on how to collect your free ticket, click here. The game is also live on GBC in Gibraltar, and behind the Red Button on Sky Sports for those who have that feature – as always you can follow the game on Twitter at our dedicated matchday service – @FGScoreCentre