Switzerland v Spain
Switzerland were humbled last week by Portugal who ran out 4-0 winners in a dominant display, and they’ll need to turn things around quickly if they want to avoid a similar score line against their Iberian neighbours, Spain.
With that said, Spain stumbled to a 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic on Sunday and didn’t look all that impressive in the process. However, that can be forgiven after a few months of having not played together and we’d expect a more complete performance here.
The Swiss are now winless in four and while defeats to England and Portugal can be forgiven, defeat to the Czech Republic and a stalemate with Kosovo are more worrying signs. They have a poor record against elite sides, and haven’t beaten a top-10 ranked team since November 2018 (Belgium), with their four victories since the Euros coming against Greece, Lithuania, Northern Ireland and Bulgaria.
The odds have lengthened for Spain here and that leaves them good value on the road. Their only defeat in 10 has come narrowly against France, while their record since the Euros against sides outside the top-10 in the world reads W6-D1-L1, so we’ve happy to take them at even money.
SPAIN TO WIN
Portugal v Czech Republic
Portugal managed their first Nations League win with a 4-0 demolition of Switzerland after a hard fought stalemate with Spain in their opener. Cristiano Ronaldo, William Carvalho and Joao Cancelo were all on the scoresheet, though in truth the score line was flattering to the Swiss and a similar performance from the hosts here could lead to a mammoth victory.
The Czech Republic have struggled with consistency, and while they’ve not been overly impressive since the Euros, they’ve proven difficult to beat. Indeed, they’ve lost just once in 11 matches now over 90 minutes since last summer’s tournament, though on closer inspection that record sits at just W5-D5-L1, with their victories coming over Belarus (twice), Kuwait, Estonia and Switzerland.
They defended admirably in their 2-2 draw with Spain last week, and while it would have felt like a defeat having conceded the equaliser so late on, on balance of play Spain certainly deserved a result of some sort. Jaroslav Silhavy’s side have been prolific so far to say the least, with their four goals so far this Nations League campaign coming from just five shots on target, though we’d expect that to drop off with Rui Patricio in net and we can’t look past the hosts here in what is likely to be another dominant display.
Portugal have a W8-D2-L1 record since their disappointing Euro’s defence, and while the majority of those wins were against sides that really didn’t pose any threat, they still managed 25 goals across those eight victories, scoring three or more in seven of them. 3-1 and 4-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland recently show they have the ability to put the Czech’s to the sword, who are winless in their last four against top-10 sides (D1-L3), not managing to score in any of their defeats, so the handicap appeals to generate some value.
PORTUGAL -1 HANDICAP
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