Portugal v Switzerland Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
May 31, 2019
Estadio de Dragao - UEFA Nations League
Portugal host Switzerland in the inaugural UEFA Nations League semi final, with a final clash against either England or the Netherlands the prize for the winner.
These two sides faced each other in their qualifying campaigns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with a 2-0 home win apiece for both sides - although Portugal's win in October 2017 meant they qualified automatically, with Switzerland going into the play-offs.
The Swiss have never beaten Portugal away from home in four attempts.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos is able to call on all of his big guns for this mini-tournament held in the country, with Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe all included in the squad to take on Vladimir Petkovic's side.
There are also first call ups for Wolves Diogo Jota and exciting Benfica teenager Joao Felix, but Andre Gomes, Adrian Silva, Andre Silva and Nani all miss out.
Petkovic has plenty of top level representation in his squad, with Ricardo Rodriguez, Manuel Akanji, Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Haris Seferovic all named in the 23-man squad.
Portugal v Switzerland Preview and Predictions
Portugal were unbeaten in the group stages of the UEFA Nations League, with two wins and two draws over Italy and Poland, as they finished top of Group A3 back in November 2018. However the concern for them was a lack of goals scored, with just five in four games for Santos' side.
Also three of those five goals were scored by AC Milan forward Silva, who has been omitted this time around - but Ronaldo is back, having reached an agreement with the veteran boss to miss the group stages of the competition.
Switzerland finished top of Group A2, with big wins over Iceland and Belgium - 6-0 and 5-2 respectively - however they did lose 2-1 away in Brussels in October 2018.
Seferovic was the key man in the group stages for Petkovic's side, scoring five goals in four games, including a hat trick in the mauling of Roberto Martinez's side in Lucerne.
Home advantage will be a big factor here, as will the fact that Portugal's key players have had a longer rest period - with no European club finals involvement for any of their squad members, whereas Shaqiri and Xhaka have both had extended seasons with Liverpool and Arsenal - and a Portuguese win is available at 7/10.
Santos' side are built on pragmatism, with the added firepower of Ronaldo and co, and their goal record of five goals in four UEFA Nations League games reflects this, as does their one goal in two UEFA European Championship qualifiers since then.
With that in mind, it looks unlikely that this will be a goal filled tie, with an under 2.5 total goals scored bet available at 10/11.
Portugal to win 2-0 at 7/1
Despite the confusion of this competition, all four sides involved will be keen to win some silverware to give the UEFA European Championship qualification hopes an increased boost. This is particularly true for the Portuguese, who have had an underwhelming start to qualification, as Santos; side look to defend the trophy they won in France back in 2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime at 8/13
Juventus striker Ronaldo did not kicked a ball for the national side in the group stages, but he returned to the side for the UEFA European Championship qualification double header with Ukraine and Serbia - before being substituted with an injury in the latter game. He will be itching to be right at the centre of the action if Portugal are to win a second successive European trophy, and with 85 goals, no current player has scored more goals for their country than the former Real Madrid man.