Portugal will travel to Dublin on Thursday night to play the Republic of Ireland in a bid to recapture first place in FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifying Group A. The hosts, on the other hand, have nothing to lose but their pride, as Stephen Kenny’s side has already been eliminated and is nearing the conclusion of their hopeless qualification campaign.
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Ireland’s first win in Group A came after six tries when they scored three unanswered goals against Azerbaijan last time out – Callum Robinson scored twice and Chiedozie Ogbene also scored – and their most recent match with next year’s hosts Qatar concluded in a 4-0 friendly triumph.
Kenny’s resume has benefited from previous draws with Azerbaijan and Serbia, but Ireland has just left it too late to establish the form and cannot finish higher than third in Group A, which would only be a consolation medal. Ireland has had a string of good victories since the beginning of September, and they are unbeaten in four games in all competitions, scoring nine goals in that period.
Any chances of another favorable result on home soil are a little fanciful, with Kenny’s team merely looking to put in a solid performance while Portugal tries valiantly to reclaim first place in Group A. With the exception of a misstep against current group leaders Serbia, Portugal’s Football World Cup 2022 Qualifying has gone just as planned, and they will attempt to retake the top spot in the standings if they win their game this week.
Prior to Thursday’s match, Portugal has won five straight games in all competitions, scoring 16 goals while conceding just two, and Santos’ side has won six of their past seven World Cup Qualifying games away from home. During a 2-1 triumph against Ireland in September, the visitors were aided by Ronaldo’s world-record-breaking brilliance. For more to know about FIFA World Cup Tickets Click here
Ireland has made a late roster change, with Callum O’Dowd taking the place of James Collins, who has been ruled out due to injury, while Aaron Connolly has been left out. After serving suspensions against Azerbaijan, Jayson Molumby and Alan Browne are both available, putting Daryl Horgan’s place in the XI in jeopardy.
Gavin Bazunu, a teen goalie who famously saved a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty during Ireland’s most recent match against Portugal, will be the final line of defense once more. Due to injury, Portugal’s Anthony Lopes, Rafa Silva, and Joao Mario will miss the November fixtures, but Jose SA, an uncapped goalkeeper, has earned a berth in the team.
Santos will have one eye on the match against Serbia at the weekend, but he should deploy his strongest XI here nonetheless, with Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, and Bernardo Silva leading the line. With Nuno Mendes due to serve a suspension, Joao Cancelo might return to left-back, giving Diogo Dalot a chance to start on the right side of the backline.
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