2018 World Cup Preview – Portugal

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Two years after winning the European Championship, Portugal are aiming for their first World Cup title in their history.

Lead by superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal have a tough start against Spain but will be among the leading contenders to go deep in the tournament.

Portugal World Cup Betting Markets

Stage of Elimination

  • Group Stage @ $4.33
  • Round of 16 @ $2.63
  • Quarter Final @ $3.60
  • Semi Final @ $7
  • Runners Up @ $13
  • Winners @ $26

Draw

Group:

Portugal has been drawn in Group B with Spain, Morocco and Iran

Opponents:

Record vs Spain – W: 6, D: 12, L: 18

Last Meeting – 27 June 2012: Portugal lost to Spain 2-4 on penalties (0-0 AET)

Record vs Morocco – W:0, D: 0, L: 1

Last Meeting – 11 June 1986: Morocco def Portugal 3-1 (FIFA World Cup)

Record vs Iran – W: 2, D: 0, L: 0

Last Meeting – 17 June 2006: Portugal def Iran 2-0 (FIFA World Cup)

Schedule:

Saturday 16 June – 4:00am– Portugal vs Spain

Wednesday 20 June – 10:00pm – Portugal vs Morocco

Tuesday 26 June – 4:00am – Portugal vs Iran

Group Ranking:

The defending European champions will be eager to get their campaign off to a good start as they compete with Spain for top spot going into the knockout stage.

While Spain is attracting the money, this side has just as good a chance to top the group themselves.

Not to mention the best player in the group in Cristiano Ronaldo.

Back Portugal To Win Group B @ $3.00

World Cup History

Number of Appearances

6 – 1966, 1986, 2002, 2006, 2006, 2010, 2014

Best Performance

Third Place – 1966

Match Record & Goals Tally

Played: 26, Won: 13, Drawn: 4, Lost: 9

Scored: 43, Conceded: 29

2018 Qualifying Campaign

Made the World Cup by…

Portugal finished on top of UEFA Qualifying Group B giving them direct passage through to Russia.

Qualifying Record & Goals Tally

Played: 10, Won: 9, Drawn: 0, Lost: 1

Scored: 32, Conceded: 4

Story to Watch

While several continental champions have missed out on the World Cup, the European winners are front and centre.

They battled through the tournament two years ago, six of their seven games were drawn after 90 minutes, their only normal time victory came in the semi final over Wales.

They will not want to chance their luck this time around and will need to find a few more goals throughout the tournament.

Portugal 2018 World Cup Squad

GOALKEEPERS

Anthony Lopes, Beto, Rui Patricio

DEFENDERS

Bruno Alves, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Mario Rui, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Pereira, Ruben Dias

MIDFIELDERS

Adrien Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Mario, Joao Moutinho, Manuel Fernandes, William Carvalho

FORWARDS

Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gelson Martins, Goncalo Guedes, Ricardo Quaresma

Strongest Group

Unsurprisingly, the group with Ronaldo is the strongest in the side. Behind him however are a number of very talented players including Andre Silva who is coming off playing 40 games for AC Milan.

With just 20 national team appearances to his name, he has scored 11 goals and will look to add that total in Russia.

There is also the 21 year old winger Goncalo Guedes who has spent the season on loan at Valencia and his young legs could be pivotal.

Weakness

Age is a real concern for Portugal with a squad on the back end of their international careers.

A quick look through the squad shows plenty of players on the wrong side of 30 which, even with modern training techniques, will make it tough to play seven games in a month if they reach the final.

Notable Absentees

A handful of contributors from Portugal’s Euro triumph have been left behind including Nani, Ricardo Carvalho, Andre Gomes and Eder, who scored the winning goal in the final two years ago.

Also missing is Renato Sanches whose career has plateaued since being crowned the tournament’s best player in France two years ago.

Key Player

Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the two best players in the world, Ronaldo can’t help but be the focus for his Portugal side.

While they did go on to win the Euro final with him injured early in the match, he is that important for his side that he needs to be at his best if they are to have any hope.

At age 33 this might be his last chance to win a World Cup at the top of his game.

Back Cristiano Ronaldo To Win Player Of The Tournament @ $17

Final Prediction

If Portugal are going to be successful they will need to take care of business in their group with at least two wins from their three games.

Reaching the final is the expectation for this group as they know what is on the line. If form holds they will have to battle through the knockout stages but they do have the quality to progress.

PREDICTION: FINALIST

Best Bet for Portugal: To Reach the World Cup Quarter Finals @ $2.10