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2022 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Portugal

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Portugal World Cup Team Preview

Portugal 

FIFA Ranking: 9
Manager: Fernando Santos
Federation: UEFA
Group: Portugal, Uruguay, Ghana, South Korea
Odds to win World Cup: +1500, FanDuel
Odds to win Group H: -145, FanDuel
Odds to advance in Group H: -700, FanDuel

 

How did Portugal qualify for the World Cup? 

Portugal have not missed a major international tournament since 1998. They took second in their qualifying group behind Serbia and had to beat both Turkey and North Macedonia this past March to secure their spot in Qatar.

Who is Portugal’s most important player? 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Normally, I would put some other player in this section who needs to step up for the team to succeed. That is because we knew what we were getting from Ronaldo in the past. However, that is not the case this time. At age 37, he has just one Premier League goal for Manchester United this season and two in the Europa League. Consistent playing time has also not been there for Ronaldo in 2022. He will need to return to the goal scoring form he was in while playing with his Portuguese teammates in 2021 when he had 11 goals in seven games across a span of seven months if Portugal want to make a run to the Final.

What are Portugal’s strengths, weaknesses, style of play and form? 

Portugal will almost surely deploy a 4-3-3 formation which they have done often in the past. Ronaldo will lead the attack with talented midfielders Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes right behind him. They have good defensive midfielders to protect their defense that will be anchored by Pepe and Ruben Dias. Joao Cancelo and Raphael Guerreiro are two top-notch wingbacks who will help solidify Portugal’s attack on the flanks.

Portugal’s biggest strength is talent. There are regular starters on some of Europe’s biggest clubs up and down this lineup — and even on the bench. They have the talent to make a very deep run in this tournament or even come out on top. However, they have a history of underperforming especially on the big stages which is their main weakness entering this year’s World Cup.

Leading up to this winter’s tournament, they completed six Nations League matchdays with three wins, two losses, and a draw. Their two most recent games were a 4-0 drubbing of Czech Republic and a 1-0 loss to Spain. 

What is Portugal’s World Cup Outlook? 

As alluded to above, Portugal have what it takes to make a deep run, but lack the history of strong performances at recent World Cups. They are the favorites to win the group, but this is one of the more challenging groups in the field in my opinion. However, I think they will qualify for the knockout round and make another early exit from the competition as we have seen them do lately.

Best Portugal World Cup Bet 

The best Portugal bet to make prior to the tournament is taking them to make the quarterfinals at -115 on FanDuel. Portugal should make it out of the group, and I can see them winning at least one knockout stage game to cash this bet.

Portugal World Cup Roster 

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa, Jose Sa, Rui Patricio
Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Joao Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Antonio Silva, Nuno Mendes, Raphael Guerreiro
Midfielders: Joao Palhinha, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Mario, Matheus Nunes, Otavio Monteiro, Vitinha, William Carvalho
Forwards: Andre Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Goncalo Ramos, Joao Felix, Rafael Leao, Ricardo Horta

Group A   |  Ecuador   Senegal   Netherlands  Qatar

Group B  |  Iran  Wales  USA  England 

Group C  |  Mexico  Saudi Arabia  Poland  Argentina 

Group D  |  Tunisia  Denmark  Australia  France

Group E  |  Japan   Germany   Costa Rica   Spain 

Group F  |  Croatia  Morocco  Canada  Belgium 

Group G  |  Cameroon  Switzerland  Serbia  Brazil

Group H  |  South Korea  Uruguay  Ghana  Portugal

Previous 2022 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Cameroon Next 2022 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Ghana