After both qualified for the knockout phase of the World Cup with two wins out of three, Group H winner Portugal will take on Group G runners-up Switzerland at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.
In one of two European ties in the middle of the various round of 16, two teams that experienced vastly different fortunes in their final group games battle it out for a precious spot in the quarter-finals.
A successful start to their campaign in Qatar 2022 left Portugal needing just one point from the final round of group matches to be sure of finishing first, with qualification for the round of 16 already assured.
When Ricardo Horta, one of the new faces brought in for the occasion by coach Fernando Santos, put them ahead against South Korea on 5 minutes, it looked like the Seleção would pull through. However, their opponents staged one of several comebacks that have characterized the first fortnight of the final, equalizing before half-time and then producing a dramatic 91st-minute goal to condemn them to a 2-1 defeat.
Despite suffering their first setback, Uruguay‘s victory over Ghana sealed Portugal’s progress as the top of Group H, and they now look to successfully negotiate the round of 16 for the first time since 2006, when they finally finished fourth in Germany.
Having seen his team kick off their World Cup by beating Ghana 3-2 and then adding a 2-0 win against Uruguay last Monday, when Bruno Fernandes found the net twice, Euro 2016 winner Santos you can aim to break new ground this winter.
An Eusebio-inspired Portugal finished third in the 1966 World Cup, but for all their success at youth level, the Iberian nation never reached a senior world final. In fact, two of his last three seasons have ended in the first knockout round.
With speculation still ongoing about the form and fitness of one-man record machine Cristiano Ronaldo, Santos must earn his team selection spot in Lusail as the Selecao meet familiar opposition with a proven track record. in important finals.
The last time they met their Swiss counterparts in the UEFA Nations League earlier this year, there were two very different results in the span of just a few days: Portugal won 4-0 in Lisbon, with Ronaldo scoring a first-half brace, formerly Switzerland then turned the tables with a 1-0 win in Geneva.
Following that summer victory in the Nations League, Switzerland beat both Spain and the Czech Republic in the same competition, before beginning their unlikely quest for a first World Cup by winning two of their first three games in Qatar. .
One point was thought to be enough for second-placed Nati to qualify from Group G, after their 1-0 loss to Cameroon was followed by a loss to Brazil by the same scoreline, but Cameroon’s incredible success against the Brazilians completely changed the landscape. .
Therefore, it took a hard-fought 3-2 win over Serbia in the teams’ fierce meeting at Stadium 974, during which the referee booked 11 players, to seal a place in the round of 16.
Goals from Breel Embolo, Remo Freuler and starting striker Xherdan Shaqiri, who celebrated by silencing the Serbian fans who booed his every touch, saw Granit Xhaka narrowly escape a red card at the end of a stormy encounter.
The Swiss have never before won three games in a single World Cup final, and they have failed to reach the quarterfinals in their last seven attempts, but only 90 minutes, and perhaps a little more, now separate Murat’s team. Yakin of such a feat. this year.
Since they hosted the World Cup in 1954, Switzerland had not reached the quarterfinals, but having defeated neighbors and reigning world champions France to reach the quarterfinals at last year’s Euros, a team well-versed in the ebbs and flows of knockout soccer will surely want their chances on Tuesday.
Portugal World Cup Form:
Form of Portugal (all competitions):
Swiss World Cup Form:
Form of Switzerland (all competitions):
With progress secured in Group H, Fernando Santos seized the opportunity to make six changes to his Portugal eleven last time out, but the notoriously conservative manager should write again on Tuesday night.
Making his first start for Benfica in August, 19-year-old defender Antonio Silva made his competitive debut against South Korea alongside veteran Pepe, a man 20 years his senior. The youngest Portuguese player to participate in the World Cup may break through, however, as Ruben Dias returns to the bottom four; Diogo Dalot made such an impression in his first World Cup start that he could be retained.
Although captain Cristiano Ronaldo was one of three players replaced after 65 minutes on Friday, the Selecao’s top scorer starts back up front, with Andre Silva and another Benfica prospect, Goncalo Ramos, relegated to the bench.
Nuno Mendes was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament last week due to injury, while Danilo remains sidelined after sustaining broken ribs; Otavio continues to doubt as well.
Switzerland are hoping stalwart goalkeeper Yann Sommer can return to bolster their defensive line at Lusail Stadium after missing their final Group G match due to illness. With 30 clean sheets and countless crucial saves in his 76 appearances for the Nati, Sommer would be back for Borussia Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel if he were available.
There is a good chance that Murat Yakin’s side will not change, with Granit Xhaka and Remo Freuler providing the midfield screen ahead of a well-trained defense and Breel Embolo leading the line up front.
Ruben Vargas and Xherdan Shaqiri provide support from the wings, although both Christian Fassnacht and Renato Steffen offer alternatives on both flanks.
Possible starting line-up for Portugal:
Coast; Dalot, Pepe, Days, I cancel; B. Silva, Neves, Carvalho; Fernandez; Felix, Ronaldo
Possible starting line-up for Switzerland:
Kobel; Widmer, Akanji, Schar, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Cerda, Vargas; plunger
We Say: Portugal 2-1 Switzerland (after extra time)
Given their abundance of attacking talent, Portugal rarely have trouble scoring, but protecting a lead is often another matter.
Persistent negativity from Fernando Santos often sends the Selecao back, allowing a capable Swiss team to rally and force extra time. However, the great game intelligence of Pepe, Ronaldo and company should see them cross the line.
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Top Forecast Our expert forecast partners at Sporita.com predict Under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they’re predicting for this game, and for more of their tried and tested soccer tips. Under 2.5: Data ID: 501227: 1false2false3false: QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect16478:Previews by emailClick here to get Sports Mole’s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!