The 2018 football World Cup in Russia was a roaring success for the UK. Although…
Portugal V Greece – Saturday 31st May. 7:30PM. Live Streaming on Bet365
With the World Cup less than two weeks away, 32 nations prepare to do battle for football’s ultimate prize. In Lisbon, Portugal welcome fellow European side Greece to the Estadio Nacional in what is a repeat of the Euro 2004 final.
It should be a cracker and you can watch the action unfold live on Bet365.
Portugal To Begin Preparations In Style
Saturday’s encounter is the first warm-up match of Portugal’s pre-World Cup schedule and Paulo Bento will be determined to make it five wins on the bounce.
Portugal face a difficult group in Brazil, being matched with Germany, Ghana and the United States. Nevertheless, the European side will be optimistic about reaching the latter stages and having a real go at securing a first ever World Cup trophy.
Not many people will give Portugal much chance of going all the way in Brazil, but they should have too much for their opponents on Saturday. The likes of Miguel Veloso, Jao Moutinho, and Pepe provide a steady spine to the team while Cristiano Ronaldo is officially the world’s greatest player at the minute – the Greeks should be worried.
It is evident that Ronaldo is still working his way back to full fitness, though, so there’s a good chance that he’ll only play a portion of the game. Even so, the Portuguese boast enough other talented attackers to cause havoc amongst the visiting defence.
Winning a friendly would hardly count as exacting revenge for that Euro 2004 defeat, but it will at least offer some comfort. Expect a strong performance from the hosts.
Tough Test For Visitors
Greece may have stunned Portugal a decade ago, but Fernando Santos’ men are unlikely to enjoy a repeat result here.
For a team that regularly reach major tournaments, Greece are particularly infrequent scorers. On route to Brazil, they found the net just 12 times in 10 matches – despite competing in a relatively easy group, which included the likes of Latvia, Liechenstein and Lithuania.
However, what they do boast is a superb defensive record. Greece conceded just four goals in Group G, keeping eight clean sheets in the process. However, there was a little bit of a role reversal in the play-off as their attack bailed out the defence courtesy of a 4-2 aggregate win over Romania.
Nevertheless, any attack led by Giorgos Samaras is going to struggle at the elite level and that in turn heaps the pressure on a potentially vulnerable defence. While they may have kept clean sheets against weak opposition, you’d always fancy a team with Cristiano Ronaldo to enjoy some success in the final third.
Greece are a team with great spirit and are certainly capable of sneaking through to the latter stages in Brazil. However, that resilience alone is unlikely to help them in Lisbon.
Portugal V Greece Betting
Bookmaker Bet365 have made Portugal the odds on favourites at 1/2 , while the draw can be backed at 3/1. If you fancy the Greeks to cause another upset, the visitors are available at 6/1.
The hosts have scored in each of their last 15 matches, netting a dozen times in their last four games alone.
Greece may have claimed eight clean sheets against poor opposition, but goals conceded in both games against Romania highlight their vulnerabilities. They conceded twice against Bosnia away and Portugal should be confident of at least matching that tally here.
Portugal to score over 1.5 goals is 10/11 with Coral
This is the hosts only match on Portuguese soil before setting off for the tournament and will want to mark it in style.
One of those players determined to make his mark will be winger Nani. The Manchester United star fell out of favour at Old Trafford this season and has a genuine battle on his hands if he wants to start Portugal’s World Cup opener against Germany on June 16. A strong performance here could ensure he retains his place in the starting XI.
Nani to score first is 7/1 with BetVictor