Published: 2022-03-23 By: The Guru
Portugal will face Turkey on Thursday night in the semi final playoffs of the FIFA World Cup European Qualifiers. A potential win might see them tied with Italy in the finals if the European champions manage to go past North Macedonia on Thursday night.
Portugal only managed the second position in Group A after a 2-1 defeat to Serbia which saw the victors through to the World Cup, which will take place in Qatar later this year. Fernando Santos’s side must win in the playoffs semifinal and final for a chance at the glorious event.
In their last three encounters, Portugal has managed to win all by a two-goal margin. A mere glance at Portugal’s squad will leave you wondering how they did not manage to top their group. Portugal will be the favourites in Thursday’s match with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, and Diogo Jota in the confirmed team. Ruben Diaz will miss out on this match with a hamstring injury.
Turkey’s side also has some potential match-winners like Cengiz Under, who has been in excellent form recently. Cengiz Under has scored eight goals in 23 matches for Ligue 1’s side Olympic Marseille, including a late stoppage-time goal against Stade Brestois. Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Çalhanoğlu, among other lads in Turkey’s squad, threaten Portugal’s chances of qualifying.
Turkey finished second behind the Netherlands in the Qualifiers' group stage with 21 points from 10 matches. In their last five games of the same competitions, Turkey had three wins, one draw, and one loss. On the other hand, Portugal finished with 17 points from 8 matches.
Portugal will go into this game knowing it is a do-or-die situation, and we can expect a lot of action from this side. Following a Champions League Quarter Finals exit with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking forward to ending his trophy drought with Portugal in the World Cup. Although we did not see a lot of action from him in the group stages, he proved he is still one of the best with a three-goal hauler against Spurs last week. He might as well steal the show on Thursday night.
All the odds favour Portugal, but we should not underestimate Turkey. We may witness an action-packed match from both sides or a one-sided game; it’s football.
Ronaldo has never won a World Cup. Hopefully, this will fuel him to push himself to the limits in the upcoming match.
Do you think Bruno Fernandes and Bernado Silva will sync and work in unison to tweak Portugal’s midfield? How will Portugal perform without Ruben Diaz in the squad?
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