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Phiên bản đầy đủ: Portugal v Switzerland: Close contest lies in store[/b]
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Portugal v Switzerland: Close contest lies in store[/b]
The first semi-final of the UEFA Nations League takes place on Wednesday and Andy Schooler expects a best free soccer tips tighter than the odds suggest when Portugal face Switzerland.
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Portugal v Switzerland
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Football & Main Event
I can see why Portugal have been installed as favourites lớn win the inaugural Nations League Finals.
First of all, they have home advantage and, secondly, they appear to have had the rub of green in the semi-final draw, being paired with Switzerland, rather than World Cup semi-finalists England or the resurgence Netherlands.
Portugal hard lớn beat[/b]
Yet I'm not prepared lớn sign up to the view that they warrant their position at the head of the market, as I explained in my preview of the tournament as a whole- According to the soccer tips of the day page!
They head into this game in Oporto having lost only one of their last 15 games but they remain a team lacking in style and they have often been found wanting against supposedly weaker nations - just take a look at how they began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in March, with home draws against Ukraine and Serbia. They arrive here having drawn their last four.
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Fernando Santos has plenty of talent at his disposal, including arguably the world's best in Cristiano Ronaldo. With the likes of Joao Felix having emerged this season, that pool is expanding, but he has consistently struggled to get his stars playing flowing football.
Stubborn Swiss[/b]
He has, of course, been excused on that front given Portugal ground their way to Euro 2016 glory but his team never seems to truly convince and with that in mind I'm wary about backing them against a Swiss side, who have also proved stubborn opponents.
In terms of bare numbers, Switzerland don't match up lớn Portugal but in the past 12 months they have beaten Belgium and Serbia, as well as drawn with Brazil and Spain.
In Xherdan Shaqiri they have a trump card capable of causing any opponent problems. He's long been looked to as the man to create and score goals, which have often been in short supply, but the during the group phase, the Swiss found other attacking options as they rammed home 14 goals - the most of any team in the top tier of the competition.
Haris Seferovic certainly caught the eye, netting five of those. He's enjoyed a fine season with Portuguese champions Benfica, scoring 23 goals in 29 league games, and will surely be highly motivated playing at the home of one of his club's great rivals.
After thrashing a strong Belgium side 5-2 to qualify for these Finals, the Swiss don't deserve to be written off, especially given they open up against a home team who have often failed lớn live up lớn the sort of top billing they are getting here. Just remember, Portugal won just one of four games at last summer's World Cup (1-0 over Morocco), drawing with Iran and Spain and bowing out to Uruguay.
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