Portugal vs Republic of Ireland: Preview and Prediction

Portugal will aim to finish their prepearations for Euro 2024 against the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night.

Portugal will complete their UEFA Euro 2024 preparations with a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland in Aveiro on Tuesday night. Roberto Martinez’s team, who have recently faced some challenges in their friendlies, are looking to secure a morale-boosting victory before their European Championship campaign kicks off against Czechia on June 18.

In their last outing, Portugal fell 2-1 to Croatia in Oeiras. Despite Diogo Jota’s equaliser after Luka Modric opened the scoring from the penalty spot, Ante Budimir’s second-half strike sealed the win for the visitors. This defeat marks Portugal’s second loss in their last three friendlies, having also succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against Slovenia in March.

These results have raised some concerns, and Martinez will be keen to see his side enter the Euros with a positive performance against Ireland. Portugal, the 2016 European champions, will compete in Group F alongside Czechia, Turkiye, and Georgia.

With a squad rich in talent, including seasoned stars and emerging prospects, expectations are high for them to progress comfortably through the group stage and make a deep run in the tournament. After their early exit in the last Euros and a quarter-final finish in the 2022 World Cup, the pressure is on to prove their mettle on the continental stage once again.

On the other hand, the Republic of Ireland will not be participating in Euro 2024, following a challenging qualification campaign where they finished fourth in their group. Interim manager John O’Shea, the former Manchester United defender, continues to lead the team after their disappointing qualification run.

Under his guidance, Ireland recently secured a 2-1 victory over Hungary in a friendly on June 4, snapping a four-match winless streak. This match against Portugal offers O’Shea’s side a valuable opportunity to test themselves against top-tier competition and build confidence ahead of their UEFA Nations League campaign starting in September.

As both teams prepare for different futures—Portugal aiming for European glory and Ireland rebuilding for upcoming challenges—Tuesday’s friendly will provide critical insights and momentum for their respective paths. The Hard Tackle delves into the potential elevens and tactics for this clash.

Team News & Tactics


Cristiano Ronaldo, who was an unused substitute in Portugal’s recent 2-1 defeat to Croatia, is expected to return to the starting lineup for their friendly against the Republic of Ireland. This match will give the 39-year-old a chance to gain valuable match fitness and sharpen his form ahead of Euro 2024. Roberto Martinez is expected to rotate his squad, giving opportunities to several players who did not start against Croatia.

Joao Cancelo, Diogo Jota, and Antonio Silva are likely to be included in the starting XI alongside Ronaldo. This shuffle in personnel aims to bolster both defensive solidity and attacking prowess, with Cancelo and Silva adding fresh legs to the defense and Jota providing an additional threat up front.

Bruno Fernandes, Joao Palhinha, and Vitinha are expected to keep their places in the midfield, providing stability and creativity. However, Martinez is also expected to give Matheus Nunes and Joao Neves some minutes during the game, allowing them to integrate further into the team dynamics and gain experience.

Rafael Leao, who is vying for a starting spot in Portugal’s Euro 2024 opener, might be granted another 45 minutes of play to showcase his skills and make a strong case for his inclusion in the tournament’s first match.

Martinez is likely to deploy his usual 4-3-3 formation with Diogo Costa in goal. Rúben Dias and Antonio Silva should form the centre-back pairing with Joao Cancelo and Diogo Dalot occupying the wing-back spots.

Palhinha will act as the destroyer in the middle of the park, freeing up Vitinha and Bruno Fernandes to push forward. Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota will start out wide with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Costa; Cancelo, A Silva, Dias, Dalot; Fernandes, Palhinha, Vitinha; Bernardo, Ronaldo, Jota

Portugal vs Republic of Ireland: Preview and Prediction.

Republic of Ireland

John O’Shea may opt to field the same starting lineup that achieved a 2-1 victory over Hungary in their last outing. Adam Idah, who scored his fourth international goal in the win against Hungary, is likely to retain his place in the starting XI. Troy Parrott, who is in good form could also have a big role to play.

Veteran Seamus Coleman is expected to captain the team once again, anchoring the defense from his central position. Alongside him, Dara O’Shea and Shane Duffy are anticipated to start, providing additional stability and experience to the Irish back three.

Ireland are likely to set up in a 3-4-3 formatrion that could transform to a 5-4-1 when defending. Caoimhin Kelleher has been a rising star at Liverpool and will command the position betwee the sticks.

Robbie Brady and Matthew Doherty should provide the width down the flank, with Will Smallbone and Josh Cullen holding down the fort in the middle. Adam Idah should lead the line with Finn Isaac Azaz and Sammie Szmodics providing support up front.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Kelleher; Coleman, Duffy, Dara O’Shea; Doherty, Smallbone, Cullen, Brady; Azaz, Idah, Szmodics

Portugal vs Republic of Ireland: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Portugal and Ireland have faced off 15 times, with the Iberians coming out on top in eight games. Thre have ended in a draw while Ireland have won the remaining four.
  • Ireland have scored more than once against Portugal in the same game just once, all the way in 1992.
  • A shutout on the night will see Porugal keep consecutive clean sheets against the Emerald Isle side for the first time since 1996.
  • Roberto Martinez has never lost consecutive games as Portugal National Team boss.

Player to Watch

Rafael Leao

Embed from Getty Images

The AC Milan star should start on the bench but is expected to take to the field sometime on the night. A world beater on his day, Leao is very inconsistent as a top level player. This has often been to his detriment, especially at the international level.

This summer’s Euros could very well prove to ve Ronaldo’s final major tournament, meaning the door is open for a new Portuguese hero to take the throne. Leao could certainly stake his claim with a strtong showing this summer. A standout performance against Ireland will certainly get him into Roberto Martinez’s good books.


Portugal 2-0 Republic of Ireland

The Iberians will be go into the summer tournament in high morale and nothing less than a win will do. With several players fighting for a starting spot, Roberto Martinez will find his stars ready to go. The Hard Tackle predicts a win for Portugal.

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