Republic of Ireland will look to bring an end to their winless start to life under boss Stephen Kenny when they host Luxembourg in a World Cup 2022 qualifier on Saturday night.
The Boys in Green fell to a 3-2 loss against Serbia in their opening Group A fixture on Wednesday, while Luxembourg went down 1-0 to Qatar in a friendly on the same day.
With the loss in Belgrade, Kenny is the first Ireland boss to fail to win his first nine games since Mick Meagan, who did not win any of his 12 games between 1969 and 1971.
Six of those games have ended in defeat, seeing Ireland finish third in their UEFA Nations League group and fall short in the Euro 2020 playoff qualification rounds.
Alan Browne headed Ireland ahead against Serbia, but Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice after Dusan Vlahovic equalised, rendering James Collins’s late goal a mere consolation.
Second place in Group A will still be the target for Kenny, meaning a playoff spot for Qatar 2022, and this visit of Luxembourg presents the best chance yet to get off the mark.
The minnows have lost three and drawn one of their last four games, most recently going down to World Cup hosts Qatar in Wednesday’s friendly through Mohammed Muntari’s early goal.
However, Luxembourg enjoyed a positive Nations League campaign in the autumn, winning three, drawing one and losing one of their four games against similarly-ranked nations.
The Red Lions will take confidence from that as they seek what would be a shock victory at the Aviva Stadium, albeit at a ground where the hosts are winless in four.