Ireland v Portugal set for full house.
Republic of Ireland v Portugal at the Aviva Stadium could be played in front of a full capacity crowd, after the government detailed the next step in the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
In an address to the nation, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that outdoor sporting events will return to full capacity from October 22nd, for the first time since March 2020.
Stephen Kenny to field team in packed house.
This means that on November 11th, Ireland manager Stephen Kenny could be presented with his first opportunity to field a team in front of a full house at the Aviva Stadium, something that is sure to give his players a boost as they aim to down Cristiano Ronaldo et al.
The government website now states that from Friday, October 22nd: “Covid-19 passes and fixed capacity limits will not apply for outdoor events. However, sectors should ensure appropriate protective measures are in place.”
Ireland find form under Kenny.
Should the Football Association of Ireland act on the new recommendations, then it should come as a timely boost for Kenny. The manager oversaw victories over Azerbaijan and Qatar earlier this month, keeping two clean sheets along the way.
Callum Robinson was very much the star of the window, scoring two goals in a 3-0 win in Baku before adding a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory over Qatar at the Aviva.
Chiedozie Ogbene and Shane Duffy also got their names on the scoresheet over the course of the two matches.
Ireland aim for Ronaldo revenge.
Back in September, Ireland came agonisingly close to claiming a memorable victory away to Portugal, only for Ronaldo to pop up with a late brace to secure a 2-1 victory for the home side.
In doing so, he also broke Ali Daei’s long-standing record as the male player with the most goals in international football, with his strikes against Ireland being his 110th and 111th for Portugal since making his debut in 2003.
The Manchester United forward has since added four more to his tally, including a hat-trick in last week’s 5-0 victory over Luxembourg.
Kenny has led Ireland out at the Aviva Stadium on seven occasions, all of which have been in front of empty or reduced-capacity stands.
The recent victory over Qatar, as well as the draw with Serbia before that, were notable for the atmosphere generated by supporters, of which their were 25,000 on each occasion.