To say that the Ireland World Cup qualifier against Portugal tonight has had a low key build up would be an understatement. I can’t recall a competitive international match against elite opponents that has received such little media attention.
Irelands quality and current performance in the group has a lot to do with this. Ireland are 15/1 to win the match. Taking account of the bookies take, that means that we have about a 6% chance of a victory. I can't recall our senior team being involved in such an unbalanced match where Ireland were the underdogs.
Ireland’s current demise can be summed up by looking at the end of the chart below. This is our ELO ranking. These ratings cover the time period from 1988 until present. The ELO rating system was adapted from chess and scores soccer teams based on performance. Among a range of factors, points are awarded based on the type of match played (qualifier/friendly etc.), home advantage, opponent quality, goal difference and expected results.