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Portugal v Turkey Preview And Predictions - World Cup Play-Offs

Portugal v Turkey Preview And Predictions - World Cup Play-Offs

Cristiano Ronaldo continues his bid to qualify for a 5th FIFA World Cup when Portugal take on Turkey at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto on Thursday night. The hosts missed out on automatic qualification by finishing behind Serbia in Group A, the same for Turkey who finished behind the Netherlands in Group G. Check out our preview and predictions for the game, and if playing online casino is your entertainment of choice, head over to Genting Casino and enjoy over 3000 of your favourite online slots and premium live casino tables.


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It’s almost impossible the fathom one of either Portugal or Turkey may not play in the World Cup when you consider the quality of player at their disposal, though that’s the reality of the situation and Ronaldo and co. will be desperate not to let this second chance slip.

That’s easier said than done against this Turkey side that can pose a real threat and are heading into this off the back of three victories to end groups and qualify for these playoffs. It should be noted though that those three wins have come over Latvia, Gibraltar and Montenegro, while the two away games in that time (Latvia and Montenegro) both came by narrow 2-1 scorelines. 

This Turkey side aren’t a stranger to an upset, having beaten Netherlands 4-2 in March last year and overcome World Champions France back in 2019, though both of those victories came on home soil, and the last time they claimed a scalp on the road came against Portugal themselves all the way back in 2012.

Portugal picked up just one point from their final two group games to finish second in their group. Aleksandar Mitrovic’s last gasp winner took Serbia above the Portuguese and into the World Cup, though we’d expect the quality of this side to make it through this tie. 

That defeat to Serbia was the first time Portugal have lost on home soil to an unrecognised international powerhouse since a 3-2 defeat at home to Sweden in 2017, with their only other home defeats in that time coming to France, Netherlands and Germany, so it’s a tall order to think Turkey can claim a route through here.

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Portugal To Win To Nil

Ultimately we can’t see beyond the host for this one, and we’d expect a cautious and tactical approach to the game, with an open encounter playing far more into Turkey’s hands.

Santos’ side have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five outings, with that defeat to Serbia the only exception, and while Turkey have scored in each of their last seven, again, the quality of opposition was lacking, and against top sides in their Euro 2021 campaign, they only managed a single goal in their three games with that coming as a consolation against Switzerland.

Pepe will be absent here have contracted Covid-19, while City’s Ruben Dias is also ruled out in the heart of defence, which is a massive blow for the hosts. 
It’s likely that the experienced head of Jose Fonte will fill the void left by Pepe, while Goncalo Inacio will take up the second centre-back place. 

Talented Lille defender Tiago Djalo could also step in, as could Danilo Pereira, and while this may be an issue against sides with greater attacking potency than Turkey, they should be able to cope just fine with their current squad.

PREDICTION:

PORTUGAL TO WIN TO NIL

 

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