Republic of Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup in Qatar next year have been all but extinguished already, with four matches of their qualifying campaign still remaining. While a top two spot is not yet mathematically impossible, the Boys in Green would need to win all four of those matches while hoping Portugal lose all four of their matches that are left in this qualifying group.
Manager Stephen Kenny appears to still be getting to grips with life in such a high-profile role, but he is placing faith in youth and giving opportunities to starlets such as Gavin Bazunu, Andrew Omobamidele and Troy Parrott and with one of Europe’s more star-studded international sides making the trip to the Aviva Stadium for this one, it could be a great opportunity for some of those young players to make a name for themselves in front of a home crowd.
Indeed, in the reverse fixture between these two teams back in September, Portugal were almost on the receiving end of a shock, before two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo (who had earlier missed a penalty), secured a dramatic win for the Seleccao. They still aren’t top of this particular qualifying group as things stand, but a win here could see them leapfrog Serbia, who have one point more than them from one more game at this stage.
Portugal were knocked out of the European Championships this summer by Belgium in the Round of 16, having dropped points against both France and Germany in the group stages, but they’ve been in fine form since and have won all five of their matches. They’ll hope to increase their chances of finishing above Serbia and avoiding a play-off by winning in Dublin on Thursday evening.
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Republic of Ireland vs Portugal: Match Stats
Portugal have been in great goalscoring form since Euro 2020 came to an end, scoring 16 times in just five appearances in that time. With the quality they possess, not just in Ronaldo but in creative outlets such as Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva, Portugal will expect to win out again here and you can anticipate a high-scoring game in the process as well after their 5-0 thumping of Luxembourg last time out.
Ronaldo will no doubt be keen to be centre stage again here though and given that he’s two goals away from hitting a career total of 800 for club(s) and country, it’s hard to look beyond Betfair’s 11/4 odds on a brace in this game. He scored twice in the reverse fixture between these sides and has been in decent form for Manchester United this term too, managing to find the net no fewer than nine times despite the Red Devils’ inconsistent form in the Premier League and Europe.
Republic of Ireland vs Portugal: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Republic of Ireland 1-2 Portugal
7:45 pm Thursday November 11
Republic of Ireland 1-2 PortugalWorld Cup Qualifying
07 October 2000 – Portugal 1-1 Republic of Ireland – FIFA World Cup
02 June 2001 – Republic of Ireland 1-1 Portugal – FIFA World Cup
09 February 2005 – Republic of Ireland 1-0 Portugal – International Friendly
10 June 2014 – Republic of Ireland 1-5 Portugal – International Friendly
01 September 2021 – Portugal 2-1 Republic of Ireland – FIFA World Cup
The Republic of Ireland have only managed two wins against Portugal in their history. They came close to adding a third to that tally in September, only for two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo to turn the match on it’s head and earn Portugal a dramatic victory at Estadio do Algarve.