Nations League: Portugal v Switzerland

Portugal face Switzerland in the Nations League semi-finals

Shane McArdle looks forward to the UEFA Nations League Semi-Final on Wednesday 4 June, 7:45pm Sky Sports Main Event

Form:

Host nation Portugal finished the group stages unbeaten, with two wins and two draws against Italy and Poland in Group A3, results which meant they qualified to this stage of the competition with a game to spare.

Portugal currently sit one place ahead of their opponents in the FIFA world rankings. In their four Nations League group matches, Portugal averaged 3 cards per match (11 yellow, one red).

Switzerland will be a surprise team in the final four of this tournament for many people as they finished ahead of Belgium in Group A2 on goal difference.

Having lost 2-1 in Belgium, Switzerland then came from 2-0 down at home to stun Belgium with a fantastic 5-0 victory in the final game of the group to get them to this stage and therefore eliminate their better fancied opponents.

Check out the latest Nations League betting here 

The Match:

The winners of this match will face the winners of Netherlands v England in the final on Sunday (June 9), whilst the losers will play the runner-up in that game in a third-place play-off also on Sunday (June 9).

Should any game finish level at full-time, then extra-time and a penalty shoot-out (if needed) will come into operation to settle the tie.

The Video Assisted Referee (VAR) will be in operation for all four games. Goal-line technology will also be in use.

The sides have met on 22 occasions heading into this game with Portugal winning 7, Switzerland have won 10 and there has been five draws.

The last time they met was a 2018 World Cup qualifier, a game that Portugal won 2-0.

Team News:

Portugal have almost a full squad of players to pick from for this semi-final, with Porto midfield ace Danilo the only player manager Fernando Santos will not have available as he is suspended, having been sent-off in their final group game.

Switzerland should also have a full squad available, with the only doubts (albeit small) being Xherdan Shaqiri who joined  the squad late, having been on the bench for Liverpool’s fantastic win in the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur, and Granit Xhaka who also was late joining-up having played in Arsenal’s Europa League final defeat to Chelsea.

Apart from that manager Vladimir Petković should have no injury worries.

Verdict:

Portugal recorded a 2-0 victory the last time these sides met, whilst Switzerland won the previous two meetings by the same scoreline. However with the away side in this fixture only winning five of the 22 meetings, it looks like a Portugal win is the safest option here and I’m going to go for Portugal to win 2-0 at 11/2

With Cristiano Ronaldo likely to feature for Portugal as he returns to International duty and make his Nations League debut, I expect Portugal to be more attacking minded then they have been in their last four games (all draws) and therefore predict Portugal to win Half-time/Full-time at 5/4

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime and Portugal to win is my fancy on the Anytime Wincast market at 6/5

 



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article