BETTING & MATCH PREVIEW
On Wednesday night, Portugal host the Republic of Ireland, in Group A of qualifying for World Cup 2022
The Selecao will be looking to bounce back from exiting Euro 2020 at the last-16 stage. A 1-0 defeat against Belgium ended Portugal’s defence of the title of European champions. In fact, Portugal have now failed to win in their last three international matches after a 4-2 defeat against Germany and a 2-2 draw with France.
One positive for Portugal is that they have taken seven points from their first three games in Group A of World Cup qualifying. They have beaten Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, with a draw against Serbia sandwiched in-between.
The home team have a good recent record in qualifying, as they are unbeaten in 12 qualifiers, having recorded 11 wins. They have also won their last eight World Cup qualifiers on home soil.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The visitors have started their qualifying campaign in a poor fashion, as they have failed to pick up a point from their opening two matches in qualifying. Stephen Kenny’s team kicked off their campaign by suffering a 3-2 defeat in Serbia. However, it was a 1-0 home defeat by minnows Luxembourg in their second qualifier that make things look bleak for Ireland.
They are now seven points adrift of Wednesday’s opponents, who top the group. The poor start to the campaign means that Ireland have failed to win in four World Cup qualifiers.
The visitors have been difficult to beat on their travels in World Cup qualifying, as they have lost just one of their previous seven away qualifiers.
Portugal will be without Leicester full-back Ricardo Pereira, who is ruled out due to injury. The likes of Joao Felix, Renato Sanches and Andre Gomes have not made the latest squad.
Ireland have no reported injuries, but long-term squad members like Darren Randolph, James McCarthy and Robbie Brady are not in the squad.
We predict that Portugal will bounce straight back to winning ways by recording a victory in what could potentially be a tight contest.
PREDICTION – HOME WIN
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Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.