Our football match prediction:
Thanks to a 2-0 win over Switzerland Portugal booked their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals, with the team extending their winning run to nine games in the qualifiers for the major tournament. A Selecao have big ambitions for the next year’s FIFA World Cup and there is every chance coach Fernando Santos will use upcoming friendly games to test as many players as possible. Cristiano Ronaldo will be rested against Saudi Arabia, but Fernando Santos has a number of top-class players to choose from and we predict that the hosts will emerge triumphant in Friday’s football match. The Asian side did remarkably well to beat the odds and qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals, but Portugal are likely to pose a much bigger threat for Edgardo Bauza’s men than their previous rivals. In Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence a man to watch in the home team will be Man City ace Bernardo Silva.
Highlighted Player (William Carvalho):
Angola-born defensive midfielder William Carvalho has overseen a dramatic rise in his stock over the past few seasons at Sporting. William Carvalho is coming from a proper football family since his father and grandfather were also footballers, but his way to the top has had a somewhat dramatic twist to it. Carvalho moved to Portugal as a child and first started playing football in the streets before he was picked up by Recreativos Desportivos de Algueriao. William Carvalho joined the Sporting football academy at the age of 13 The 24-year-old Portugal star player has spent two years on loan at Fatima and Cercle Brugge, before he got the chance to cement his place in the starting line-up for Portuguese giants. William Carvalho came through all youth ranks with the Portugal national team, while he was given his senior debut in 2013. Carvalho played an important role in his country’s maiden European Championship title in France over the summer.
Highlighted Team (Saudi Arabia):
Saudi Arabia Football Federation was established back in 1956, but the Saudis qualified for a major tournament 28 years later, when they participated in the AFC Asian Cup. In 1988 Saudi Arabia won their first trophy, with the team beating South Korea in the Asian Cup final. Eight years later they repeated the success and it has to be noted that they have been playing at the Asian Cup finals ever since. Speaking of their appearances at the FIFA World Cup finals, the Green Falcons did well to qualify for the 1994 tournament, where they made it to the last 16. Saudi Arabia participated at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 tournament as well, but they missed out on a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals. However, the Asian side booked their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia thanks to a win over Japan in their last group game in the qualifiers. Saudi Arabia’s home kits are white, whilst they wear green jerseys and shirts when playing on the road.