Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier between the Republic of Ireland and Portugal on Wednesday.
The Republic of Ireland take on Portugal in a 2022 World Cup qualification game on Wednesday at the Estadio Algarve in Faro. Here is everything you need to know about the match, including team news, form, odds and TV channel details. You can also follow the game live on our blog.
Who are Ireland playing against?
Ireland are taking on Portugal who are ranked 8th in the Fifa world rankings. The home side are formidable opponents for Kenny’s team, and the top-ranked side in the group
From Bruno Fernandes to Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva to Ruben Dias, Portugal have a squad full of extremely talented footballers, who ply their trade at some of the biggest clubs in world football.
They are also led by Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time who could make international football history against Ireland. The Manchester United needs one more goal for Portugal to 110 goals – a record for men’s international football.
Ireland have played Portugal 13 times at international level, with a record that reads four wins, two draws and seven defeats. The two nations last played each other in a pre-World Cup friendly in 2014, a match Portugal won 5-1.
Portugal v Ireland: What is at stake?
Ireland’s hopes of reaching the 2022 World Cup appear remote. Kenny’s team have played two qualifiers and lost both – a defeat away to Serbia last March followed by a crushing loss to Luxembourg in Dublin.
Ireland could ignite their qualification campaign if they were to collect seven points from their next three qualifiers, and other results go their way.
But if they suffer a heavy defeat to Portugal, it could all but signal the end of any slim hopes the team have of qualifying for the World Cup.
Portugal, meanwhile, are on track to reach the tournament next year. Fernando Santos’ team have seven points from three games and sit top of Group A.
What is Ireland’s form going into the game against Portugal?
Kenny has been in charge for 13 matches as Ireland manager so far, and the team have won just once – a 4-1 victory over Andorra in a friendly. Ireland have yet to record a win in a competitive game under the former Dundalk coach.
Kenny’s case hasn’t been helped by a depleted squad, injuries and Covid-19 complications in past international breaks. It must also be said he is attempting to form a new team from arguably the shallowest Irish talent pool in recent memory.
Yet, Ireland have arguably been easy to play against at times over the last year and will need to greatly improve to take any points from the Portugal game.
Portugal, meanwhile, were one of the favourites for Euro 2020, after winning the European Championships in 2016 and the Uefa Nations League in 2019, but they had a disappointing tournament. They beat Hungary 3-0, lost 4-2 to Germany and drew 2-2 with France but lost to Belgium in the last-16.
So far in Group A, Portugal have beaten Azerbaijan 1-0, recorded a 2-2 draw with Serbia and beat Luxembourg 3-1.
Portugal v Ireland: What are the odds?
At the time of writing, Ireland are 19/1 to win the World Cup qualifier against Portugal.
The home side are heavy favourites at 1/7, with the draw 11/2. (All odds via Paddy Power and correct as of Tuesday afternoon).
What TV channel is the Ireland-Portugal match on?
The Portugal v Ireland match will be shown live on terrestrial television in Ireland on Wednesday, September 1.
RTÈ 2 will broadcast the game and coverage begins at 7 pm, with kick-off at 7:45 pm. The match will also be available to stream on RTÉ Player.
If you’re living in the UK, or in Ireland but would prefer to watch it on Sky Sports, you can watch the game on Sky Sports Premier League. Their coverage also begins at 7:30 pm.
Virgin Media will show highlights of the match at 10 pm on Virgin Media 2.
Who is in the Ireland squad?
Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth, on loan from Manchester City), James Talbot (Bohemians).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Nathan Collins (Burnley).
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Harry Arter (Nottingham Forest), Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren), Jayson Molumby (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Forwards: Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), James Collins (Cardiff City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Long (Southampton), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).
Who is in the Portugal squad?
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patrício (Roma).
Defenders: João Cancelo (Manchester City), Nélson Semedo (Wolves), Domingos Duarte (Granada), Gonçalo Inácio (Sporting Lisbon), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), Nuno Mendes (Sporting Lisbon), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Danilo (Paris Saint-Germain).
Midfielders: João Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon), Rúben Neves (Wolves), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), João Mário (Porto), João Moutinho (Wolves), Octávio (Porto), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), André Silva (Leipzig).
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Pedro Gonçalves (Sporting Lisbon) Rafa (Benfica).
What is Ireland’s starting XI for the World Cup qualifier against Portugal?
Stephen Kenny will name the starting XI an hour before kick-off in Faro.
And you can follow the game live below.