Home
Prediction League
Fixtures
Results
News
Features
Premier League
EPL Home
Latest
Clubs
Stadiums
Friends
Blogs
Football League
World Cup 2014
Europe
Euro Football Home
Latest
Russian Premier
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
La Liga
Football Italiano
International
International Home
Latest
World Cup 2010
Euro 2012 Stadiums
Euro 2012
Denmark 2011
AFCON 2013
Betting
About Us
Advertising
Write for us
Privacy
Recruitment
newswriter
Twitter
Contact Us
 
 

Portugal vs Northern Ireland - Match preview and team news


Bookmark and Share

By Bryan Waters

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Northern Ireland are still yet to taste victory under Michael O’Neill and face a difficult task of securing their first win under the new boss with a trip to Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo will captain his side and win his 100th cap in the process, hopefully toasting that with a much-needed victory.


Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo train


Portugal were beaten 1-0 by Russia on Friday and that result leaves them three points behind Fabio Capello’s side with three fixtures played. Paulo Bento has only seen his Portugal side win two of their four home games in 2012 and will be hoping that what is on paper a routine fixture against Northern Ireland will not provide the possibility of a banana skin.


Bento has injury worries with Fabio Coentrao ruled out with a groin problem suffered 20 minutes into the 1-0 defeat in Moscow. Real Betis’ Nelson will deputise for the Real Madrid left-back and Bento will also have to find a replacement for Raul Meireles, who picked up an injury in training. Ruben Micael is expected to start alongside Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso in a three-man midfield.


Northern Ireland face a daunting trip to the Estadio do Dragao and that was before the injuries and suspensions they have suffered. O’Neill is without West Brom defender Gareth McAuley, who is ruled out through suspension after picking up two yellow cards already during qualifying. Injuries have ruled out McAuley’s club teammate Chris Brunt and Newcastle’s Shane Ferguson.


O’Neill’s side only have one point from their opening two games, having lost their opener against Russia and then conceding a late equaliser to Luxembourg at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland have conceded an average of three goals per game under O’Neill and have yet to keep a clean sheet, so the only solace Northern Irish fans have is the 1-1 draw they achieved in 2005 last time these two sides faced each other.


That game was at Windsor Park, so a trip to Portugal is even more ominous. Portugal will see Ronaldo become the third player in Portuguese history to hit the 100 cap mark following Luis Figo’s 127 and Fernando Couto’s 110. The Real Madrid superstar will be keen to cap his special day with a goal or two and the Northern Ireland backline face a difficult task to keep the Portugal waves at bay.


See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Poland v England



Related Articles


» 

Rodgers dismisses Gerrard concerns

» 

Wembley awarded Euro 2020 final

» 

The Top 5 Earners in Football

» 

Swansea’s Shelvey targeting England call

» 

Ronaldo: I have nothing to prove

» 

Looking for a job in football? Submit your CV now

» 

Cristiano Ronaldo hands Portugal fitness boost

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Name

Email Address *

Comments


Please enter code on left.


Terms & Conditions

* A valid email is required to submit a comment. Your email will not be displayed on this or any other website, nor will it be passed to any 3rd parties. For more information please see the terms and conditions.



0 Comments


No Comments have been posted yet


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Premier League Football News


ArsenalAston VillaChelseaEvertonFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityManchester UtdNewcastle UtdNorwich City
ReadingQueens Park RangersSouthamptonStoke CitySunderlandSwansea CityTottenham HotspurWest Bromwich AlbionWest HamWigan Athletic

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 
 
 

Kick Football News