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N. Ireland v Portugal: Ronaldo and co forced to work hard

| 06.09.2013

The stories of Northern Ireland’s draw with Portugal at FC Porto’s Estádio do Dragão last October will have been told a thousand times over in Belfast already.

The Green and White Army took the lead half an hour in through Niall McGinn, and thoughts of an unlikely victory existed all the way up to 11 minutes from time when Helder Postiga grabbed an equaliser for the humbled hosts.

Now it is the turn of Michael O’Neill’s men to welcome the 1/3 Portugal to Windsor Park, and although a similarly tight contest is to be expected again, the Portuguese can get one over on their opponents and take a huge step towards the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

Paulo Bento’s A Selecção were helped out hugely by Northern Ireland’s win over Russia in a qualifier last month, and following wins in four of their last five meaningful away clashes they’ll be confident of success in Belfast.

Three of those last four wins came in matches featuring under 2.5 goals, and given that all of Northern Ireland’s last seven games have been similarly tight, the 3/4 on offer for the match to feature just two goals or less should certainly be snapped up.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in Portugal’s most recent two matches, and whilst backing the former most expensive player in the world to score first in Belfast won’t return much profit at a price of 5/2, combining it with a low scoring Portugal win boosts the odds favorably.

Backing the Real Madrid man to score first in a both a 1-0 and 2-0 win for the visitors is available at 11/1, and with revenge for the Porto draw on their minds, that victory would mean an awful lot to both player and country.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication



Mark Jones