Saturday, September 26, 2020

Prediction: Sweden vs Portugal

Harry Kettle in Free Soccer Predictions 7 Sep 2020

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Prediction: Portugal win

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

European football is slowly but surely starting to return with a brand new season after an incredibly short absence, but for the next few days, the international game is going to become the core focal point – and that means the return of the UEFA Nations League. Sweden and Portugal will be clashing heads later on this week in what many consider to be a hyped up friendly, but with UEFA Euro 2021 coming up next year, both will hope to build some momentum with just nine months left to go until it gets underway.

Sweden

Reaching the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was no fluke, and neither was finishing as Group F runners-up behind Spain in qualifying. At the start of the year they were actually able to get in two back-to-back games against Moldova and Kosovo which they won, and against world champions France a few days ago, they gave a decent enough account of themselves in a narrow 1-0 defeat.

Team News

Larsson could well lose his place in favour of Kulusevski, but aside from that, there aren’t expected to be any major changes to Sweden’s starting XI. They held Les Bleus well enough for large portions of the game, and they don’t have any real injury worries to concern themselves with.

Portugal

The reigning Champions of Europe were only able to finish as Group B runners-up behind Ukraine, but they’ve never allowed the role of being the ‘underdogs’ to impact them before. In fact, after 10 months without an international match under their belt, they made one of the biggest statements of the break so far when they battered World Cup runners-up Croatia 4-1.

Team News

Following the birth of his child, Bruno Fernandes’ availability for this game has been called into question. Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on the aforementioned win over Croatia with a toe injury, but if he is fit and ready to return, you can expect to see him leading the line alongside a whole host of exciting young Portuguese talent that have been making a real statement in the last few years.

Factors to Consider

  • In their last meeting three years ago, Sweden came from behind to beat Portugal 3-2.
  • Sweden have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six games.
  • Portugal have won five and lost one of their last six games.
  • Sweden have scored eight goals and conceded two in their last six games.
  • Portugal have scored 21 goals and conceded four in their last six games.

Conclusion

This should be a fairly entertaining encounter with both teams possessing very different styles. Portugal’s high-octane pressing has left many believing that they will run out winners in this game, but a strong defensive structure such as what Sweden possesses will always cause teams problems. We do feel as if the European champions will pick up a slender win, but it’ll be the sort of result that still gives the Swedes confidence.

Prediction: Portugal win

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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