International Soccer Betting: Ireland vs. Portugal

International Soccer Betting:  Ireland vs. Portugal

The warm up schedule of exhibition games in preparation for the World Cup are starting to wind down. In this writeup will look at a Tuesday contest between Ireland and Portugal to be played at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Ireland didn’t qualify for the World Cup as they finished 4th in their qualifying group but have been in decent form since then. They’ve played well in recent International friendly matchups earning ties against Costa Rica (1-1) and Italy (0-0). Portugal is heading into World Cup action and will face a tough test in their opening game of the tournament on June 16 against Germany.

Portugal’s big concern at the moment is the fitness of their superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo remains questionable for the start of World Cup play though he is reportedly on the mend and has resumed training in the past few days. There’s a strong probability that he’ll sit out this game to give him every chance to be ready to face Germany next week. Even without Ronaldo, however, this Portugal team is a handful. They’re currently #4 in the FIFA rankings and are undefeated in their last seven matches. That being said, they haven’t been particularly sharp during their World Cup tune up exhibitions with a scoreless draw against Greece and a hard fought 1-0 victory over Mexico where they scored the only goal of the contest in the waning moments. Clearly, Portugal will want to get a solid win in the books before they head off to Brazil.

As noted above Ireland has shown better form in recent exhibition games but that may have as much to do with their opponents lack of focus as anything else. They’re not a bad side defensively but struggle to score goals. Their focus is to be competitive in the Euro 2016 tournament so player development is key for Ireland. Note that they’ll be without team captain Robbie Keane in this game–he’s off playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the US Major League Soccer circuit.

Portugal has not looked sharp and Ireland is a tough defensive test but we expect the superior talent to prevail in what will likely be a low scoring affair.