Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Prediction: Russia vs Portugal

SoccerPredictions in Free Soccer Predictions 19 Jun 2017

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Verdict: Russia not to lose

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: bet365

Having secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the 2017 Confederations Cup opener, Russia take on Euro 2016 champions Portugal knowing that a win would secure their place in the semi-finals. The Selecao, on the other hand, missed the opportunity to beat Mexico and now need to try and make amends by defeating the host nation.

Russia

The Russia national team have endured some tough times of late despite the fact that most players in the squad are either playing in top clubs or are on their radar, and it is now up to Stanislav Cherchesov to try and get this team back where they belong. That will be no easy task especially seeing that the entire nation is hoping Sbornaya komanda will shine at the 2018 World Cup next year, although there have been some promising signs for the new head coach after a rocky start. Cherchesov clearly took great advantage of the time he had to work with the squad in the build up to the 2017 Confederations Cup, which resulted in a serious improvement in performances, as well as 3-0 away win over Hungary and 1-1 draw with star-studded Chile. Those two showings gave everyone at the national team camp a huge lift, so nobody was too surprised to see Russia enjoy a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the Confederations Cup opener. The hosts should have won by a greater margin having completely outclassed the Oceania side, but it is clear that the match against Portugal will be a whole different ball game and a very good test to see how far the team have come under Stanislav Cherchesov.

Team News

Artem Dzyuba and Roman Zobnin had been earlier ruled out of the tournament, while there have been no fresh injuries to report.

Portugal

Despite the fact they have been referred to as one of Europe’s leading sides from late 90’s, Portugal endured a long wait for a major trophy that finally came to an end last summer as they surprised everyone to claim the Euro 2016 title. The success in France provided a huge lift for everyone in the national team camp, and apart from the opening defeat to Switzerland in the 2018 World Cup qualifying, the Selecao have been pretty impressive in most other games. Even though Portugal had recorded two convincing victories in the build up to the 2017 Confederations Cup, they were expected to face some problems at the tournament finals due to having a number of key men arriving after difficult club campaigns. With the doubt also surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future, Portugal failed to impress in the opening clash against Mexico, although they would have still won the game if Hector Moreno hadn’t scored an equaliser in injury time. Portugal will now attempt to make amends by defeating hosts Russia, who have been showing steady improvement in recent weeks.

Team News

Head coach Fernando Santos opted for more experience up front as he paired Nani with Cristiano Ronaldo, while Joao Moutinho played in midfield.

However, the likes of Andre Silva, Adrien Silva and Gelson Martins are all pushing for starting places in the Russia game.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Just three goals were scored in teams’ last four meetings
  • Portugal failed to score in last three away games vs Russia (D1 L2)
  • Russia are unbeaten in last four matches (W2 D2)
  • Portugal scored 2 goals or more in each of last eight games
  • The Selecao won six of those matches (D1 L1)

Conclusion

Russia appear to be high on confidence after a string of promising performances and for the first time in a while they seem capable of matching a top European side like Portugal. Meanwhile, the Selecao stars are running on empty after a long season and we don’t think they can secure victory in Moscow.

Verdict: Russia not to lose

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: bet365

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