Our prediction for this match:
Russia will be looking to build on a 2-0 win over New Zealand when they face Portugal in the Group A derby at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. A win over Portugal would see Russia book their place in the semi-finals of the tournament, but beating the European champions is easier said than done. Given the quality of A Selecao, the hosts are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach in Wednesday’s football match and, no doubt, they would be happy with one point from the game. Portugal were on the verge of beating Mexico in the opening match of their Confederations Cup campaign, but El Tri eventually scored the equalizer in the dying minutes of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score in the 2-2 draw with El Tri, but the opposition defenders should have him at bay. Taking everything into account, we predict that the two sides are going to share the spoils at Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow.
Highlighted Player (Artem Dzyuba):
Over the years Artem Dzyuba has established himself as one of the best players in the Russian Premier League. The 196-cm-tall attacker began his senior career at Spartak Moscow and after ending his loan spells with Tom Tomsk and Rostov, he moved to Zenit St. Petersburg in 2015.
Artem Dzyuba scored 15 goals for the Zenitchiki in the 2015-16 Russian Premier League campaign, while providing nine assists for his teammates. The Russian forward was not as successful in the 2016/2017 season as he scored 13 goals in 26 appearances for Roberto Mancini’s troops, while having six assists. Dzyuba made his debut for the Russia national football team in November 2011 in a friendly game against Greece, but he did not represent Russia at the Euro 2012 finals.
The Zenit striker scored his first goal for the Russian national team on September 8, 2014 in a 4-0 win over Liechtenstein. Artem Dzyuba was born in Moscow (Soviet Union) on August 22, 1988 and he is a product of Spartak Moscow football school.
Highlighted Team (Portugal):
Portugal started competing at the biggest stage in the 1930’s, but they had to wait for almost seventy years to establish themselves as a top side. The third place finish at the 1966 World Cup was a one-off result as the Selecao needed another 40 years to get past the group stage, reaching the semi-finals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Portugal enjoyed more success on the continent, finishing third at the 1984, 2000 and 2012 European Championships, while losing in the final to Greece at the Euro 2004 that was held on home soil. Despite being able to count on one of world’s best ever footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, the Selecao have yet to lift a major trophy and they will not have too many opportunities to do so before the Real Madrid superstar retires.
Eusebio remains the most famous footballer to have played for Portugal, while Luis Figo, Simao Sabrosa, Pedro Pauleta, Rui Costa and Nani are also worth mention. The Selecao currently boast an impressive pool of world-class talent and it should not be long before they end the trophy drought.