All eyes will be on the Lusail Stadium when Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal and Switzerland meet in the round of 16 battle on Tuesday, with only one quarter-final ticket left on the table.
Ronaldo made headlines for all the wrong reasons ahead of the World Cup, but despite being at the epicenter of a storm that saw him sacked from his club, he was not fazed by the drama or hampered Portugal’s performances at all.
If anything, he seems highly motivated to carry his country’s hopes as Fernando Santos’s men prepare to kick off the round of 16 in Qatar 2022 for what could be Ronaldo’s international swan song if things are against you.
Despite the extraordinary turn of events, the global superstar had no hangover on the pitch when he scored the opener in a thrilling 3-2 win over Ghana. In the 2-0 win over Uruguay, Ronaldo looked to steal a goal from United’s Bruno Fernandes.
However, Portugal’s flawless start to the World Cup ended in a shock 2-1 loss to South Korea last time out, after reaching the round of 16 with one game remaining.
Despite this, Fernando Santos’s side finished top of Group H with six points, and go into this game as favorites with Ronaldo leading the line, but this resilient Swiss team are not pushovers and have the ability to threaten. and disturb.
Battle-hardened Switzerland have a recent track record of defeating major tournament favorites time and time again, most recently knocking out reigning World Cup champions France at Euro 2020 in a stunning comeback that left all shocked.
They then overcame Euro 2020 champions Italy to win their World Cup qualifying group. Prior to this tournament, they beat Spain and Portugal 2-1 and 1-0, respectively, to avoid relegation from Group A of the Nations League. Despite narrowly losing to Brazil, Murat Yakin’s side edged past Serbia and Cameroon in their group to secure a place in the round of 16.
Portugal and Switzerland will meet for the third time in 2022, having already met twice in their UEFA Nations League group, with each team winning their home game.
The Swiss withstood a barrage of attacks from Portugal in an organized, well-trained and resolute defensive display. They will expect a similar performance. The difference today is that the stakes are much higher as the two European nations look to advance to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup.
Portugal vs Switzerland confirmed lineups
Portugal XI (4-3-3): Coast; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerrero; Octavio, Carvalho, B. Silva; Fernandez, Ramos, Ronaldo
Swiss XI (4-2-3-1): summer; Fernandes, Schar, Akanji, Rodríguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Cerda, Vargas; plunger
Portugal vs Switzerland LIVE updatesNext game of Portugal and Switzerland in the World Cup
The winner of this last round of 16 match will face the round of 16 winner of Spain against Morocco in the quarterfinals next Saturday at the Al Thumama Stadium.