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Prediction: Portugal vs Egypt

SoccerPredictions in Free Soccer Predictions 21 Mar 2018

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Verdict: Half-Time/Full-Time Portugal

Best Odds: 23/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

Egypt begin their World Cup preparation with a mouth-watering friendly against European champions Portugal, who aim to continue their flying form from their European Championship win back in 2016.

Portugal

A friendly match against Egypt would gain little interest under normal circumstances but with one of Europe’s most in-form strikers Mohamed Salah leading the Pharaohs forward the forthcoming clash between the two countries has been making plenty of headlines.

Salah on one side and current World Best Player Cristiano Ronaldo on the other, the Friday’s friendly clash at Letzigrund Stadion is becoming a highly anticipated affair. The Real Madrid headlines is sure to aim for a win against the African side, which would be their tenth friendly victory in last 18. Cristiano Ronaldo has joined up his teammates in fantastic form, coming off from his 50th career hat-trick scored in his team’s 6-3 thumping of Girona. Ronaldo struck four in total and provided an assist to further polish up his form in time for World Cup where they will be fighting in Group B against the likes of Iran, Morocco and neighbours Spain. Days after their Egypt challenge, Portugal will face Netherlands in another high-profile friendly game and head coach Fernando Santos is widely expected to shuffle his deck for the forthcoming fixtures.

Team News

Injury-hit Pepe is the most notable omission from the Portugal squad for the following friendlies.

Central midfielder Danilo Pereira is also absent from the Portugal squad, whereas Raphael Guerreiro is a selection doubt due to lack of fitness.

Egypt

Led by incredible Mohamed Salah whose dramatic 94th-minute winner against Congo in October secure his side’s first World Cup in 28 years, Egypt are slowly emerging as one of the tournament’s perennial dark horses.

With one of the most exciting strikers in the world at the moment, Egypt have been given favourable odds to go through the group stage at the World Cup knowing they’ve been pitted in Group A against the likes of hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay. Sitting as underdogs both in their group and in the forthcoming clash against Portugal, Egypt with nevertheless have to be taken seriously thanks to the incredible emergence of Mohamed Salah. The 25-year-old forward has bagged 38 goals across all competitions this season in only 41 games, which makes him the best striker in Europe at this moment in time. Egypt are far from being a one-man team, however. The Pharaohs boast the likes of resurgent Mohamed Elneny, Ahmed Hegazi and extraordinary veteran goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary who will be 45 when he gets to Russia.

Team News

Egypt boss Hector Cuper added Ahly defender Ayman Ashraf and Enppi midfielder Mohamed Magdi as the two new players in his Egypt squad.  

Left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi has been struggling with form lately while Karim Hafez has been snubbed for the March friendlies. Ahly striker Marwan Mohsen remains a long-term absentee due to his knee injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Portugal won 5 of their last six matches across all competitions
  • Egypt kept a clean sheet in only 1 of their last six games
  • Mohamed Salah scored 38 goals in all competitions this season
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 50th career hat-trick last weekend vs Girona
  • Portugal managed four clean sheets in four of their last 5 games

Conclusion

Portugal are fancied to win the forthcoming friendly match against Egypt but they will definitely not have an easy time against the Mohamed Salah led side. The Egyptian is enjoying a formidable spell and will be the one to watch together with Cristiano Ronaldo on the other side of the pitch.

Verdict: Half-Time/Full-Time Portugal

Best Odds: 23/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

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