Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Serbia kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign in great manner, with the team beating Republic of Ireland 3-2 in Belgrade. Serbia boss Dragan Stojkovic rested several first-team regulars in the opener, but he is likely to field the best possible side against Portugal, with all Maksimovic, Lazovic, Kostic, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic pushing for a start. Fulham attacker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored a brace in the triumph over Ireland, should be recalled to the starting XI as well, while Aleksandar Kolarov and Luka Milivojevic have been left out of the squad.
A Selecao, on the other hand, recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Azerbaijan in the opening match of their qualifying campaign. Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix should be recalled to the starting XI, but, as always, a man to watch in the away team will be Cristiano Ronaldo. Anyhow, given the attacking potential of the two sides, both teams to score betting option should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Nemanja Matic):
Nemanja Matic is a Serbian footballer who plays for Premier League side Chelsea. The 194-cm-tall midfielder was born on 1 August, 1988 and he began his football career (youth) at Radnicki Obrenovac.
In 2005 he signed for Kolubara and after impressing with Kosice in the 2008/2009 campaign, Chelsea owners decided to sign him. Nemanja spent the 2010/2011 season on loan at Vitesse and at the end of the season he signed a deal with Portuguese giants Benfica, with David Luiz heading in the other direction.
Matic was in the form of his life in the 2013/2014 Primeira Liga campaign and he helped the Eagles clinch the domestic trophy. He rejoined Chelsea in 2014 for a fee of €25M and he helped the Blues win the Premier League title in the 2014/2015 season. Nemanja Matic has also developed into a key member of the Serbian national team that have been largely struggling of late.
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.