- Portugal v Switzerland
- Tuesday December 6 2022, 14:00 ET
- At the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Portugal slipped to defeat against South Korea in its final Group H game and will need to return to form to take on Switzerland with a quarter-final place up for grabs.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Looking at the best-rated online sportsbooks it is clear that bettors favor Portugal to get the better of Switzerland. Portugal is the -110 favorite to win this game and go through to the last eight, while Switzerland is rated as a +340 chance and the draw is available at +245.
|Portugal v Switzerland|
World Cup Second-Round Betting Briefing
Although in the modern era, Portugal is regarded as one of the powerhouses of European soccer, it doesn’t have a lengthy World Cup history.
Portugal made a late but spectacular entrance to the World Cup scene in 1966 when, in its first-ever tournament, it reached the semi-finals, powered by the genius of Eusebio.
Over the next 36 years, Portugal made only one more appearance at the World Cup, in 1986, when it exited at the Group stage, but marking its return in 2002, it has been ever-present since that competition, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s longevity a major factor.
Yet despite the array of talent produced by this soccer nation, the third-place of 1966 remains its best performance at a World Cup. It finished fourth in 2006, but otherwise has not progressed past the Round of 16, despite becoming European Champions in 2016.
Switzerland has appeared at the World Cup on twelve occasions, though those appearances have fallen into two eras, with a lengthy gap between them. It did not enter in 1930, but featured at the next four World Cups, as well as the tournaments in 1962 and 1966.
Its best performances came at the 1934 and 1938 World Cups when it reached the quarter-finals on each occasion, although the extent of that achievement is tempered by the fact that both of those tournaments were 16-team knockouts, so reaching the last eight meant winning one game.
After being knocked out at the Group stage in 1966, there followed a 28-year gap with no World Cup football, which came to an end at the 1994 tournament. Switzerland has now played in six of the last eight tournaments, reaching the Second Round on four occasions, but going no further.
Portugal Back to Full Strength
France, Spain, Brazil and Portugal all suffered defeats in their final Group games but some of those losses were more forgivable than others.
In Portugal’s case, the Group had already been won and manager Fernando Santos, who is an old hand at international tournaments, took the opportunity to rest some key players. The fact that the replacement players proved unequal to the task, losing 2-1 to South Korea, was a disappointment but a better outcome than having one of his key players picking up an injury in a relatively meaningless game.
We can be sure that Portugal will be back to full strength for this game and eager to resume its winning form of earlier in the Group when both Ghana and Uruguay were beaten without too much difficulty.
Switzerland Battle Through to Knockout Stages
Just as it did in 2018, Switzerland battled hard to come through a Group that included both Brazil and Serbia and deserves its place in the knockout stages.
This is not perhaps the best Switzerland team ever to pull on the national shirt, but it is solid and in its Albanian-origin midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, it has both heart and guile at its center, supplementing a relatively solid defensive unit that kept a clean sheet against Cameroon in its opening Group game and then restricted Brazil to one late goal.
Goals have been an issue for Switzerland but manager Murat Yakin will be pleased that two of his team’s four goals in this tournament have come from striker Breel Embolo. If he can continue to be sharp in front of goal and if Shaqiri and Xhaka can muster the same fight and passion that they showed against Serbia, then Switzerland can pose a significant threat to Portugal here.
World Cup Second-Round Match Betting
Portugal coach Santos has done a good job at unleashing the attacking genius in his squad so far in this tournament but this game may see him revert to type.
Switzerland showed against Brazil that it can defend against the best for long periods and Portugal may have to be patient, while ensuring against being hit on the break. Ronaldo and teammates have the talent advantage and can ultimately come through this test, but this will not be a high-scoring Second Round match and it may require extra time to separate the two rivals.