The Republic of Ireland will play hosts to Portugal in the 2022 World Cup qualifying Group A matchday 9 on Thursday. The kick-off is at 21:45 CEST.
In fact, there's nothing to compete in Group A for the Republic of Ireland as they've already been eliminated from the qualifying competition. Even September's 3-0 victory over Azerbaijan didn't help Stephen Kenny's men to continue their battle for the 2022 tournament as they had registered back-to-back 1-1 draws with Serbia and the Azerbaijani side in the two preceding matches to find themselves in fourth spot in the table with just five points, one point behind third-placed Luxembourg.
Portugal, on the contrary, have claimed five wins across all competitions on the bounce ahead of Thursday's clash, including a 5-0 thrashing of Luxembourg in their most recent clash on October 12. Still, Fernando Santos' side are now second in Group A standings, one point behind leaders Serbia (16) but with a game in hand over Dragan Stojkovic's crop.
James Collins is the only injury absentee in Kenny's squad while Anthony Lopes, Joao Mario and Rafa Silva are unavailable for the Portuguese side for the same reason.
It were Santos' men who celebrated a 2-1 victory over the Bhoys in Green in their previous head-to-head meeting in September courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo's late brace which canceled John Egan's opener in the Algarve. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner will definetly want to impove his international tally this time around and thus help his side reclaim the top spot in their qualifying group. However, we can't see unmotivated Ireland finding the back of Rui Patricio's net in this one, so let's back A Selecao to extend their winning run to six games on Thursday.
Portugal to win to nil at 2.04 with 1XBET.
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