Hampden Park - International Friendly
Alex McLeish has been testing his team with some tough friendlies over the past year or so, and this is another difficult one for Scotland. Portugal are the visitors to Hampden Park on Sunday, as the European champions face the Scots for the first time in 16 years.
Portugal won the most recent meeting between the nations by two goals to nil in a 2002 friendly. Before that, the countries last played each other in qualifying for the 1994 World Cup, with Portugal winning 5-0 on home soil after a goalless draw in Scotland.
There’s no Leigh Griffiths for Scotland, after the Celtic striker pulled out of the squad in order to focus on improving his fitness. Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser also withdrew, which is a blow to the Scots after his excellent start to the season.
Portugal are missing their main man, with Cristiano Ronaldo left out of the squad for this international break. Andre Silva is set to start up front, and he has seven goals in eight La Liga games this term, on loan at Sevilla from AC Milan.
Scotland v Portugal Preview and Predictions
Scotland come into this game against the reigning European champions looking for their first win against Portugal in 38 years. The Selecao das Quinas have won three of the five meetings since the Scots last tasted victory, with a pair of goalless draws in the other two fixtures.
Alex McLeish’s side are 10/3 to get that elusive victory against Portugal, although their recent form doesn’t suggest they’ll get it. The Tartan Army saw their side take the lead against Israel in the Nations League on Thursday, but Scotland went on to lose 2-1.
That makes it four defeats in their last five outings for the Scots, with their solitary win coming against Albania. The other three games were against Belgium, Mexico and Peru though, so McLeish is clearly testing his players with some tough matches.
Portugal are 19/20 to record their third successive win against Scotland, although they’ve never actually won on Scottish soil. Fernando Santos’s side were 3-2 winners in an entertaining Nations League encounter in Poland on Thursday, so they’re still capable of firing in the goals without Ronaldo. A draw would be a great result for the hosts, and it’s priced at 5/2.
0-0 draw at 8/1
This would the third goalless draw in a row between the teams in Scotland, so it could be worth a look if the hosts can put in a dogged defensive performance.
Portugal to win to nil at 2/1
Scotland have failed to score in their three most recent friendlies, and they haven’t managed a goal against Portugal since a 2-1 defeat in 1981.