Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
All eyes will be on Aviva Stadium when Republic of Ireland and Portugal take on each other in the 2022 World Cup qualifier. Portugal aim to overtake Serbia in top position in Group A, and they are likely to go all guns blazing at the Boys in Green. As always, a man to watch in the away team will be Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 crushing of Luxembourg. The likes of Bernando Silva, Bruno Fernandes, and Diogo Jota made the cut as well, while Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix has been left out of the squad.
Ireland, on the other hand, missed out on a place at the 2022 World Cup finals. Ireland’s pride, though, will be at stake in Thursday’s qualifier. Anyhow, the visitors want this win more than the hosts. Portugal defenders should have WBA attacker Callum Robinson at bay as he scored a brace in a 3-0 win over Azerbaijan.
Highlighted Player (Eric Bailly):
Eric Bailly started his youth career at Espanyol and he made five league appearances for the first team as well. In 2015 he joined fellow La Liga side Villarreal and after playing 35 league games for the Camp El Madrigal outfit, the Ivory Coast defenders signed a four-year contract with Manchester United.
Eric Bailly is well known for his speed and he is very strong physically. He plays as a centre back, but he is capable of playing as a full back if needed as well. Bailly made his Ivory Coast debut on 11 January, 2015 in a friendly game against Nigeria. The 187-cm-tall defender represented the Elephants at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and, no doubt, he helped the team win the prestigious trophy at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
Eric Bailly participated in the 2016 Community Shield final and it has to be noted that Manchester United defeated Leicester City 2-1 in the Wembley Stadium clash.
Highlighted Team (Portugal):
Portugal started competing at the biggest stage in the 1930’s, but they had to wait for almost seventy years to establish themselves as a top side. The third place finish at the 1966 World Cup was a one-off result as the Selecao needed another 40 years to get past the group stage, reaching the semi-finals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Portugal enjoyed more success on the continent, finishing third at the 1984, 2000 and 2012 European Championships, while losing in the final to Greece at the Euro 2004 that was held on home soil. Despite being able to count on one of world’s best ever footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, the Selecao have yet to lift a major trophy and they will not have too many opportunities to do so before the Real Madrid superstar retires.
Eusebio remains the most famous footballer to have played for Portugal, while Luis Figo, Simao Sabrosa, Pedro Pauleta, Rui Costa and Nani are also worth mention. The Selecao currently boast an impressive pool of world-class talent and it should not be long before they end the trophy drought.