Portugal are set to face off with Turkey in the World Cup Qualifications playoff semifinal. A win would send them up against either Italy or North Macedonia in the playoff final. It isn’t an easy road for Portugal and Turkey will feel they have the chance to eliminate the favourite to progress on Thursday night.
However, Santos’s side had won 10 on the bounce at home in qualification before Mitrovic, and Dusan Tadic put them to the sword in November, although their upcoming opponents have enjoyed quite the revival since their Euro 2020 capitulation.
With Ruben Dias injured and Joao Cancelo suspended, Portugal’s backline has been further depleted by Pepe testing positive for COVID-19.
𝙁𝙤𝙘𝙖𝙙𝙤𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙟𝙤𝙜𝙤! 👊
🏆 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘊𝘶𝘱 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘺-𝘖𝘧𝘧𝘴
🗓 5ª feira às 19h45 (PT) pic.twitter.com/Jtn2YCB3AE
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) March 22, 2022
Turkey, on the other hand, beat Miodrag Radulovic’s Montenegro 2-1 in their most recent game. Goals from Galatasaray winger Muhammed Kerem Akturkoglu and Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu secured the win for Stefan Kuntz’s Turkey. Decic striker Fatos Beciraj scored the consolation goal for Montenegro.
In 8 head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Portugal hold the clear advantage, having won 6 games and lost 2.
The two countries last faced each other way back in 2012, with Turkey beating Portugal 3-1. A brace from striker Umut Bolut and an own goal from centre-back Pepe ensured victory for Turkey. Winger Nani scored the consolation goal for Portugal.
Portugal form guide: L-D-W-W-W
Turkey form guide: W-W-W-D-L
Portugal vs Turkey Predicted XI:
Portugal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Rui Patricio, Diogo Dalot, Goncalo Inacio, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, Joao Moutinho, Matheus Nunes, Danilo Pereira, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Goncalo Guedes
Turkey Predicted XI (4-4-2): Ugurcan Cakir, Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Caglar Soyuncu, Ridvan Yilmaz, Abdulkadir Omur, Hakan Calhanoglu, Dorukhan Tokoz, Muhammed Kerem Akturkoglu, Burak Yilmaz, Cengiz Under
Portugal vs Turkey Prediction:
Cristiano Ronaldo has come through for Portugal in these high-stakes fixtures, and we expect him to score the winning goal once again as they reach the final of Path C.
Portugal 2 – 1 Turkey