There is still plenty to play for as we approach the home straight of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. We take a look at the stand-out fixtures of game week 9 here.

Republic of Ireland v Portugal

Thursday evening sees Portugal travel to Ireland with the hopes of overtaking Serbia and returning to the top of the group.

The last time Portugal travelled to Ireland was in 2005 where an Andy O’Brien goal gave the hosts a 1-0 victory. Ireland have not won three consecutive games since 2016, but a win against Portugal will put an end to this run following wins against Azerbaijan and Qatar. You can get Ireland to win at 17/2 this Thursday. Callum Robinson has scored five goals in his last two international appearances, scoring twice against Azerbaijan and a hat-trick against Qatar. The West Brom striker is 17/5 to find the back of the net this time out.

Portugal head into this fixture with a record against Ireland that they will wish to put to an end. The travelling side has lost three of their last five away matches against Ireland with their only win coming in 1996. Although they head into this fixture with this record, they are priced at 1/3 to come away with all three points. Cristiano Ronaldo has been directly involved in 31 goals in his last 18 World Cup qualifiers, scoring 28 and assisting three. Last time out, the footballing legend netted a hat-trick against Luxembourg, and he is 11/20 to do so once again.

England v Albania

England face Albania at Wembley on Friday evening knowing that a point will see them qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

England head into this fixture having won all five of their matches against Albania, scoring 14 goals and conceding just once with their latest win being a 2-0 victory earlier this year. The Three Lions are just 1/9 to take the three points on Friday. England are currently on an unbeaten run of 18 games in all competitions which means a draw or victory against Albania would be their longest unbeaten run since 1966. This will be Gareth Southgate’s 67th match in charge of England, the joint-most of any England manager since Sir Bobby Robson in 1990.

Albania are yet to score a goal in England but they will be hoping to cause an upset this week at Wembley. In their previous 12 World Cup qualifying campaigns, Albania won four away games but for the 2022 World Cup, they have already won three times in qualifying. A shock win for Albania is priced at 25/1.

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