Prediction and odds for the game: Portugal (1/5) vs Republic of Ireland (14/1)
We are backing over 2.5 goals at odds of 4/5
When: Wednesday, 1st September 2021, Kick-off 19:45
Where: Estadio Do Algarve
On Wednesday night, Portugal will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing Euro 2020 campaign when the Selecao host the Republic of Ireland in Group A of European qualifying for next years World Cup.
The Selecao entered Euro 2020 as European champions, but Fernando Santos’ team disappointed in the competition. A 1-0 defeat against Belgium in the last-16 saw them meekly surrender their title of European champions.
The team will be keen to put things right at next year’s World Cup. However, Portugal first have to qualify for Qatar 2022. The group favourites have kicked off their qualification campaign by taking seven points from their opening three matches in qualifying. They have beaten Azerbaijan and Luxembourg. They also drew 2-2 in Serbia, which was always likely to be the toughest match of the group.
Portugal have been formidable on home soil in World Cup qualifying of late, as they are undefeated in their last 17 qualifiers on their own patch.
An interesting sub-plot to this game is Portugal’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo return to Manchester United. The 36-year-old is joining the Red Devils for a second stint.
Republic of Ireland
Stephen Kenny’s team are up against it to qualify for their first World Cup finals appearance since 2002 in South Korea and Japan. The visitors have lost their opening two qualifiers. A 3-2 defeat in Serbia was not a major surprise, as their opponents are a tough team to face on home soil. However, their second defeat, a 1-0 home loss against minnows Luxembourg was more humiliating for Seamus Coleman and co.
Their recent record in World Cup qualifiers does not inspire much confidence, as Ireland have now won just two of their last ten World Cup qualifiers. They have also suffered three straight defeats in qualifying, having gone four games without a win in qualifying.
One bright spot for the visitors in recent World Cup qualifiers has been that they have been hard to beat on their travels. In fact, the defeat in Serbia ended a six-game unbeaten streak on their travels in qualifying.
Ireland are likely to start this game with three at the back, with Everton’s veteran full-back Seamus Coleman playing as one of the three centre-backs after previously playing that role for his country.
We do believe that Portugal will record a relatively comfortable victory. However, the odds of a home win are not great. Instead, we are looking at the goals market and backing over 2.5 goals at odds of 4/5, as we do believe the home side will be dangerous in attack. We are also backing Portugal to be winning at half-time and full-time, which offers slightly better value than the home win at odds of 4/6.
Our Tips: We are backing over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/5 and/or Portugal Half-time/full-time at odds of 4/6. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Can the Republic of Ireland pull off a shock in the Algarve?