Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
All eyes will be on Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica when Portugal and Ukraine face each other at the start of the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Portugal have big ambitions for the next year’s European Championship, but they first need to qualify for the tournament. Despite the fact that coach Fernando Santos decided to rest Cristiano Ronaldo in the UEFA Nations League, A Selecao clinched top position in their group. CR7, whose hat-trick helped Juventus eliminate Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16, is back and all eyes will be on him when Portugal face Ukraine at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. The Ukrainians, on the other and, suffered a heavy 4-1 loss to Slovakia in their last game in the UEFA Nations League and it is no surprise they are considered big underdogs in Friday’s football match. Anyhow, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the hosts.
Highlighted Player (Joao Moutinho):
A versatile midfielder who can operate as a defensive or attacking midfielder, as well as on either flank, Moutinho is a Portugal international playing for AS Monaco. The experienced 30-year-old footballer started his career with Sporting, but moved to great rivals Porto in 2010. Having won 12 major titles between the two clubs combined, Moutinho moved to Monaco in 2013.
A full Portugal international at the age of 18, Moutinho is a regular call-up since the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The 30-year-old was a part of Portugal’s historic success in France this summer when Fernando Santos men lifted their first-ever continental trophy. Despite being a first-team regular with his club AS Monaco, Moutinho has been regularly linked with a move to Serie A and was reportedly offered to Napoli and AC Milan during the summer of 2016.
AS Roma have also expressed their interest in signing the versatile midfielder, but Monaco opted to stay with the club and help Monaco with their UEFA Champions League challenge.
Highlighted Team (Ukraine):
After the country had gained independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine played their first international match in 1992, and they have come a long way since. Zbirna have only once played at the World Cup finals so far, and they did really well to reach the quarter-finals in 2006, while they co-hosted the Euro 2012 with Poland, albeit failing to get past the group stage.
The generation that secured qualification for the Euro 2016 finals in France is arguably the most talented ever, with Yevhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ruslan Rotan and Roman Zozulya the leading players, but plenty more talent present in Mikhail Fomenko’s squad.
Similar to the trademark style of former Soviet teams, Ukraine bases their tactics on rock-solid defence and swift counter-attacks, but it has to be noted that Zbirna possess a lot more technical skills and attacking potential than most other former Russian republics. Everything suggests that the most successful period in the history of the national team is ahead of them.