In the World Cup match on December 6, the Portuguese team will play against Switzerland. Who will pass to the next stage?
Memories of a disastrous exit from the group stage in Brazil in 2014 were banished as the Portuguese national team made the World Cup playoffs for only the second time in its history (2006, 2010). Even defeat in the last game did not prevent the salesão from taking first place in the group, with the fiasco against South Korea (1:2) leaving an unpleasant residue.
Moreover, finishing second would have sent the team to Brazil, which is unlikely to please the fans and the players themselves – the chances in a game with the Pentacampions are much smaller than with any other national team. In addition, Fernando Santos’ wards should take into account their mistakes and not repeat the departures in the tournaments of 2010 and 2018. It is worth remembering that on the last two occasions when the European team won the group in 1966 and 2006, the “chosen” made it to the semifinals and finals.
Mendes, Otavio and Pereira, who has a broken rib, will not be able to play today.
After finishing second behind Brazil in goal difference in one of the toughest groups at this tournament, Switzerland will make its third consecutive appearance in the 1/8 finals. Coach Murat Yakin said after their decisive 3-2 win over Serbia that the only thing they regret is “one goal” they needed to win the group. After that, the mentor added that “we will gladly fight Portugal with the aim of disturbing them as much as possible.”
“The Nati already proved their worth when they beat today’s opponent in the UEFA Nations League last June. The Swiss, however, have yet to own another record to continue their World Cup journey – the team has never won three games in a row in history. Remarkably, Switzerland was involved in the highest-scoring game in World Cup history when they lost 5-7 to Austria in 1954.
Sommer will not be able to play today.
In this game we expect the maximum concentration from the opponents in the defense – Switzerland will try to use their chances in the counterattack, while it is unlikely that the Portuguese play open soccer from the first seconds – in such duels often solve everything with one mistake, and the opponents know about it. In addition, in three of the last four games Nati have not scored more than two goals.
We assume that the game will be viscous and unpredictable. The statistics of face-to-face meetings is not easy, with both opponents worthy of victory. Let’s take a risk and bet on a draw in regulation time – we assume that the outcome of the meeting will be decided by a penalty shootout.