The Estádio do Dragão in Porto plays host to the first of the Nations League semi-final’s on Wednesday as Ronaldo’s Portugal look to book their spot in the finals when they take on Switzerland. Form Labs bring you their betting preview and tips for the game while as ever we have the value with our enhanced odds which can be found in our FanBoosts section.
Portugal Have The Advantage
Portugal have shown they have what it takes in European competition having ground out results to lift the trophy at Euro 2016, even if the football wasn’t exactly inspiring for the neutral.
Captain Cristiano Ronaldo certainly understands knockout football as his personal record in the Champions League would attest, but defensive solidarity plus moments of individual brilliance from an all-time great can’t remain the blueprint forever given the Juve forward’s advancing years.
Man City’s Bernardo Silva and the exciting Benfica youngster Joao Felix are certainly the men national team hopes will rest upon in the coming years, though the team doesn’t exactly lack creative talents with the likes of Wolves duo Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves, as well as Benfica’s Bruno Fernandes in their ranks.
However, head coach Fernando Santos is hardly going to throw out his team’s style just yet having enjoyed considerable success so far, especially with a lack of ready-made replacements for an ageing rearguard, so it may be a few years before they take on a more expansive approach yet.
Portugal Recent Form
Portugal are W5-D9-L1 over their past 15 matches, including stalemates in each of their last four as they’re a tough team to take down.
That sole defeat was a 2-1 loss to Uruguay in the World Cup, but the inaugural UEFA Nations League is being held in Portugal and on home turf alone, they’ve gone W13-D6-L1 over their past 20 fixtures.
However, draws have become increasingly common with all six coming within their last eight in front of their own fans, while tight, low-scoring encounters are the norm for them as eight of their past 11 fixtures across all venues featuring fewer than three goals – which includes all five home games over this period.`
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Switzerland Recent Form
Like Portugal, Switzerland are a hard-working team that are hard to get the better of, relying on a strong spine of Premier League trio Fabian Schar, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, as well as Atalanta’s Remo Freuler.
They managed to qualify for these finals with a greater number of points than any other League A winners, even if they were drawn in the easiest group on paper, though 6-0 ad 5-2 home victories over Iceland and Belgium respectively will have left Portugal in no doubt that this is a team that needs to be taken seriously.
Indeed, Switzerland managed to hold Brazil to a stalemate during the World Cup group stages, while these two each won their home games 2-0 in head-to-head meetings during qualification for the last World Cup.
Portugal v Switzerland Betting Tips
Although the Swiss will feel that they’re in with a chance, it’s noticeable that their best results have come on their own patch and in fact, four of their last five defeats have come on the road or on neutral territory, while three of these finished 1-0 and another ended 2-0 as they’re seldom given a good beating.
Portugal’s record at home and superior quality on the field should edge this one for them, but it will probably be a typically tenacious and battling performance rather than anything free flowing.
Portugal To Win And Under 2.5 Goals At 3.50
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