Stephen Kenny’s side will have a tough night on their hands.
The Republic of Ireland are taking on Portugal in Estadio Algarve in a World Cup qualifier, in what will undeniably be a really difficult game for the Boys in Green.
And while Portugal will be strong favourites no matter who we put out, here is the best starting XI that we think can make life difficult for Bruno Fernandes etc.
Ireland team to play against Portugal.
This team is lining out in a 3-5-2 formation.
Goalkeeper: Gavin Bazunu.
It really is a toss of a coin between Bazunu and Caoimhin Kelleher, both of whom really impressed against Hungary back in June.
Bazunu has been playing regularly for Portsmouth however, while Kelleher has understandably not been near the Liverpool Starting XI. It will be a really big test for whoever Kenny goes for, and they will definitely learn a lot regardless of the result.
Right wing-back: Matt Doherty.
Doherty has fallen behind Japhet Tanganga in the pecking order at Spurs, meaning he has to settle for Europa Conference League games.
However, in this five at the back system, he is definitely still the best option we have out right, and he can really offer something different going forward.
Centre-half: Seamus Coleman.
Coleman has had to change the way he plays over the years, but this doesn’t mean he has become any less effective.
He can play the right centre-back role, and if he has to go out to wing-back for some reason, Everton’s 2-0 win over Brighton at the weekend showed he can still get forward when he has to.
Centre-half: John Egan.
Egan is currently battling it out in the Championship with Sheffield United, which is a world away from the heights he reached in the Premier League just two seasons ago.
But regardless, Egan is a top defender that definitely could still be in the top flight, and hopefully, he can show that against Ronaldo and co. on Wednesday night.
Centre-half: Shane Duffy.
Duffy was Ireland’s best player for years before his loan move to Celtic left him out in the cold for a few months. But he’s back in form and the first name on the Ireland teamsheet for the Portugal game.
Duffy has had an excellent start to the season at Brighton, and he should be rewarded for his efforts with a start against Portugal. A strong performance in a game this big would be exactly what he deserves after such a tough period.
Left wing-back: Ryan Manning.
Enda Stevens will definitely be missed in the left-wing back position, but Manning isn’t a bad replacement.
While he may not have the same creativity as Stevens on the ball, you could make the argument that he makes the side more balanced and defensive, which could be needed against a team like Portugal.
Centre-midfield: Josh Cullen.
Cullen’s job will be a basic one against Portugal – sit in front of the back five and try to win the ball back. When he does win the ball back, he will need to find a green jersey, and preferably
While the instruction is clear, that doesn’t make it easy, and against that midfield, he will definitely have his work cut out for him.
Centre-midfield: Jayson Molumby.
Molumby has wisely moved from Brighton to West Brom, where he should get a lot more game time at a club that looks like it will be back in the Premier League next season.
Molumby is talented playert, and his energy and dynamism will be necessary to make sure Ireland have a chance of winning the ball back.
Centre-midfield: Conor Hourihane.
If Jason Knight weren’t injured by Wayne Rooney in training, then this spot would probably be his. But Hourihane’s inclusion is also warranted, as he has played well for Ireland in the past.
Plus, his set-piece deliveries will be crucial, as they could end up being our best chance of scoring against such a strong side.
Centre-forward: Adam Idah.
Idah has been on the bench for Norwich so far this season, but he always looks lively when he comes on, even against really tough opposition.
While Parrott, upfront alongside him, will be looking for the ball into feet, Idah can use his pace to make runs in behind, and it could be the beginning of a really strong partnership.
Centre-forward: Troy Parrott.
Parrott has got off to a great start at MK Dons, scoring some lovely goals and showing his class in other ways on the pitch. Plus, the last time he lined out for Ireland he rescued the team against Andorra with a brace.
His time has come.