Saturday, November 17, 2018

Prediction: Poland vs Portugal

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: 888sport

Group A of the UEFA Nations League will feature a star-studded match this Thursday, as Portugal and Poland will meet at Stadion Śląski in Chorzów, Poland. Despite the fact that the reigning European champions won’t have Cristiano Ronaldo, this will be a thrilling match where the top spot in Group 3, League A will be on the line. Carlos del Cerro Grande (Spain) will be the referee.

Poland

Poland have not started their UEFA Nations League campaign on a positive note since they secured a 1-1 draw against an inconsistent Italy side in their debut, thanks to a goal from Napoli star Piotr Zielinski. The Polish side is coming off a disappointing campaign in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they couldn’t get past the Group Stage. Jerzy Brzęczek has taken control of the team following Russia 2018 (W1, L2) but he is yet to win; his first two games in charge of the Polish squad ended with draws. In a game where star forward Robert Lewandowski will earn his 100th international cap (55 goals), there is no question that Poland will attempt to earn the three points. They should reap decent rewards in case they get the three points, as a win would put them closer to secure the top spot in the Group. Will they be able to take advantage of the fact that they will play at home?

Team News

Poland do not have major absences ahead of this game.

Portugal

While Portugal managed to get past the Group Stage in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, their performance could also be labelled as a disappointment since they were eliminated in the Round of 16 against Uruguay. To make things even more complicated, Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the squad for these two games due to personal problems, so names such as Ricardo Quaresma and Andre Silva will have to step their game up. For what is worth, Portugal began their UEFA Nations League campaign with a solid result since they secured a huge 1-0 home win over Italy. But can they do that on the road and against a desperated Poland squad? It has to be mentioned that Portugal defeated Poland in penalties in their past meeting during the 2016 EURO, but over the course of 90 minutes, Portugal have not defeated Poland in their past four meetings. Can they end that negative run here?

Team News

Portugal will have a key absence here, as all-time leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo (85 goals) will be out. Sevilla’s Andre Silva will act as his replacement.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both sides have been inconsistent over their past 10 games across all competitions. Poland have a W3, D3, L4 mark over that span, while Portugal have posted W3, D5, L2 in their last 10.
  • The recent H2H record between these two sides has been quite balanced. There has been one win for each side and three draws (90 minutes only).
  • Only one of Portugal’s last five matches have had over 2.5 goals.
  • Two of Poland’s past five matches have had at least three goals, although that hasn’t happened in each of their past three outings.
  • Poland have won just one of the past five home matches: W1, D2, L2.

Conclusion

Both sides need the three points in this one. As a result, this could be an open game considering what’s at stake. And therefore, I believe this one will end with at least three goals scored in total.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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