Portugal vs Ireland Preview 01/09/2021

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The race to qualify for the 2022 World Cup resumes this week and on Wednesday the 1st of September we have a meeting between Portugal and Ireland.

The game will take place at the Estádio Algarve, Faro and that gives the Portuguese home advantage. Portugal come into this round of fixtures sitting top of the group on 7 points having played 3 matches while Ireland are in 4th place having played 2 games and yet to get off the mark.

— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) August 30, 2021

Portugal’s most recent fixture came at the delayed 2020 European Championship this summer and they were defeated by Belgium in the first knockout round of the competition. Portugal were handed a tough group including France and Germany and were defeated 4-2 by the Germans but held France to a 2-2 draw.

Portugal have failed to win any of their last 3 matches but they came against stronger opposition than they are going to face in this game. In terms of 2022 World Cup qualifying, Portugal started with a narrow 1-0 home win over Azerbaijan and were then held to a 2-2 in Serbia. Portugal’s most recent match in the group ended in a 3-1 victory in Luxembourg despite having gone a goal down after 30 minutes.

Trends show Portugal are unbeaten in 54 of their last 60 games in all competitions. They have also won 11 of their last 12 World Cup qualifying fixtures, including each of their last 8 at home.

Ireland make the trip to the Algarve having last played in a friendly match against Hungary prior to the European Championship. That game finished in a 0-0 draw and Ireland are undefeated in each of their last 3 games, with a 4-1 win over Andorra and a 1-1 draw with Qatar. However, all 3 of those fixtures were friendlies and Ireland have made a disappointing start to World Cup qualification.

Ireland began their campaign with a difficult looking trip to Serbia and despite taking the lead in the 18th minute, found themselves 3-1 down with 15 minutes of the match remaining. Ireland scored a second goal in the 86th minute but could not find the equaliser. Further disappointment was to come in the home fixture against Luxembourg, a match Ireland were expected to win. With the score at 0-0 going into the final 5 minutes, it was Luxembourg who made the breakthrough to record a stunning 1-0 win.

Trends show Ireland have won only 3 of their last 23 games in all competitions.

Team news on Portugal can call upon the services of new Manchester United forward, Cristiano Ronaldo. With Rúben Dias, João Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, João Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Rúben Neves, and Diogo Jota in the squad, there is a strong Premier League contingent.

Ireland travel with plenty of Premier League players of their own, including Caoimhín Kelleher, Séamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane, Shane Long, and Adam Idah.

Ireland have made a poor start to the group and Portugal will fancy their chances or taking maximum points. We expect to see over 3.5 goals scored in this game, with the majority coming for the home team.

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