Portugal vs Switzerland: Nations League semi-final preview

Portugal vs Switzerland fight for a place in the final of the UEFA Nations League at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto

Fernando Santos’s side are undefeated since their painful loss in the hands of Uruguay, which led to their exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. They progressed from the group stage of the Nations League which had Italy and Poland, with two wins and two draws from four games. The Selecao will be hoping for an improved display in a quest to progress to the final.

Prediction

Cristiano Ronaldo will be the best player on the pitch and, in front of his home fans on the big stage, he will produce the goods. Portugal 2-1 Switzerland. 

Predicted line-ups

Portugal: Patricio, Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro, Fernandes, Neves, Carvalho, Bernardo, Silva, Ronaldo.

Switzerland: Sommer, Mbabu, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez, Zakaria, Xhaka, Fernandes, Shaqiri, Zuber, Seferovic.

Opta stats

  • Portugal have won four of their last seven matches against Switzerland (D1 L2), one more than they’d registered in their first 15 meetings with the Swiss (W3 D4 L8).
  • Switzerland have picked up two victories in their last three encounters with Portugal (L1), as many as they had won in their previous 10 combined (W2 D4 L4).
  • Switzerland are winless in their last eight games played in Portugal (incl. Euro 2004), losing six and drawing twice since a 2-0 victory against Portugal in a World Cup 1970 qualifier in April 1969.
  • Portugal have lost just one of their last 15 matches in all competitions (W5 D9 L1), losing 1-2 versus Uruguay at World Cup 2018 in the last 16.
  • Portugal have kept a clean sheet in 15 of their last 30 matches across all competitions, losing just two times in the process (W16 D12 L2).
  • Switzerland have lost just one of their last five matches (W3 D1 L1), scoring at least two goals in four of those games (12 scored) and failing to net in the other versus Qatar.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t scored in any of his last four appearances for Portugal, since scoring versus Morocco at World Cup 2018. The Juventus striker has attempted 27 shots without scoring since that strike against Morocco and he last went five international games without a goal back in June 2012.
  • Ronaldo has scored two goals in five previous semi-final appearances for Portugal (incl. World Cup, Euros, Confederations Cup), scoring versus Netherlands in Euro 2004 and against Wales in Euro 2016.
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