Our football match prediction:
All eyes will be on Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica when Portugal and Switzerland face each other in the Group B derby. Despite the fact that they recorded a win in each of their nine qualifying games, Switzerland have yet to secure automatic qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals. The Rossocrociati are one point away from getting their job done in Group B and they are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach in the decider against Portugal. A man to watch in the away team will be Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, who found the net in a 5-2 win over Hungary at the weekend. Portugal failed to impress in a 2-0 win over Andorra, but it has to be noted that key attacker Cristiano Ronaldo was rested in the first half of the match. CR7 returns to the starting line-up and we predict that the Real Madrid ace is going to help Portugal book their place at the showpiece tournament in Russia.
Highlighted Player (Ronaldo):
Cristiano Ronaldo is considered one of the world’s best football players. The Portuguese ace was born on 5 February, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira and he played for the likes of Andorinha, Nacional and Sporting during his youth career. CR7 made his Sporting debut in Primeira Liga on 7 October, 2002, scoring two goals in a 3-0 win over Moreirense. Manchester United scouts spotted him and one year later he joined the Old Trafford outfit. Ronaldo became the most expensive teenager in the history of the Premier League and he received the number 7 shirt. He quickly established himself as the team’s key player and it has to be noted that he won three consecutive Premier League trophies with the Red Devils (2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009). In 2008 he helped the Old Trafford outfit beat Chelsea in the Champions League final, scoring for Alex Ferguson’s troops in the regular time. Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 and he helped the Spanish giants with two Champions League trophies. In 2016 he won the European Championship trophy with Portugal. The Real Madrid ace has two Golden Ball awards (2013, 2014).
Highlighted Team (Switzerland):
While missing the first ever World Cup, Switzerland played at next four, reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, but they were unable to repeat the success in next six appearances. Nati reached the first knockout stage in 1994, 2006 and 2014, but they couldn’t make the next step. When it comes to their European Championship appearances, the situation is even worse, as the team only qualified for the 1996, 2004 and 2016 finals, while they automatically qualified for the 2008 tournament together with co-hosts Austria. Switzerland national team of late have profited from the multicultural environment, as they appear to have closed the gap behind top European sides and also adopted a more adventurous style of play. The new generation is probably the most talented yet, with players like Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Ricardo Rodriguez and Valon Behrami all held in high regard. Nati now have a unique chance to try and reach the closing stages of a major tournament as their key men are either at their peak or will be there in the next couple of years.