Ireland v Portugal – Preview, Betting, Probable Starting Teams

Callum O'Dowda Republic of Ireland Bristol City
Credit: FAI/@FAIreland on Twitter.

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Ireland welcomes Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal to Dublin this week as they look for revenge for last month’s defeat

Ireland v Portugal will kick off at 19:45 on Thursday 11th November in the Aviva Stadium.

Most of the tickets for this game were sold out within minutes of them being on sale online. For those who could not claim a ticket, the match will also be shown live on RTE 2 and RTE player with coverage starting at 19:00.

Stephen Kenny has changed Ireland’s fortunes in recent months. After a poor start to his campaign, they are now unbeaten four games and have shown real promise in front of goal.

The Boys in Green still sit in fourth place in the group behind Luxembourg and are unable to qualify from the group. After this tie with Portugal, they will travel to the small nation of Luxembourg for what seems like a more important game for Kenny’s regime.

If Kenny thought Ireland’s form was good then Fernando Santos has been making a monstrous squad out of Portugal. Since being knocked out of Euro 2020 to Belgium, they have won five games on the bounce, keeping three clean sheets.

The World number eight-country currently sit in second place in the World Cup qualification group. They only sit one point off Serbia but have a single game in hand. Even though the Portuguese will want to win against Ireland, they will keep one eye on their fixture against the Serbians this Sunday in Lisbon.

Ireland have very few opportunities to play Ronaldo and Portugal, having only faced them twice in the last 10 years. Both times, the Portuguese squad came out on top, first 5-1 in 2014, and most recently they made a 2-1 comeback at the start of September.

Ireland v Portugal Probable Starting Teams

Ireland

Formation

5-3-2

Probable Starting 11

Bazunu (GK), Doherty, Egan, Duffy, Omobamidele, Coleman, Hendrick, Cullen, Knight, Idah, Robinson.

Injuries / Suspensions

Collins (Muscle injury), O’Shea (Knee), Connolly (Heel)

 

Portugal

Formation

4-3-3

Probable Starting 11

Patricio (GK), Mendes, Dias, Pepe, Semedo, Palhinha, Neves, Fernandes, Rafa, Silva, Ronaldo.

Injuries / Suspensions

Mario (Back)

Ireland v Portugal Match Betting

Ireland to win: 9/1

Draw: 15/4

Portugal to win: 3/10

 

Score Prediction

It would feel blasphemous to bet against the Boys in Green but it would be a major shock to see Kenny’s young men overcome the world-class side aiming to top this qualifying group. Recent form at least shows that Ireland will be spirited and give Ronaldo’s team a real go for it.

Expect the game to end 2-1 to Portugal.

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