Portugal can’t feel lucky to be in the Group of Death for the 2nd straight World Cup, but they advanced out of the group in 2010 and have the 2nd best betting odds to win their group this summer. It helps that they have, maybe, THE best player in the world in Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. However, while he is the big star of the squad there are other players that have world-class talent, which is why Portugal has the 9th best odds to win the World Cup overall.
Portugal is in Group G along with Germany, Ghana, and USA. They face Germany on the opening match and are the betting underdogs, but if they can take, at least, a point away from that match they may be in good shape. Still, Germany is stacked and has the 3rd best overall odds to win the World Cup. They face the USA next and then Ghana and while their offensive firepower outmatches both of those squads they have to play well in the midfield and be wary of the counter-attack.
Odds to win World Cup: +275
Odds to win Group: +2800
Odds to finish bottom of group: +650
Best World Cup Finish: 3rd place (1966)
World Cup Match Schedule
16//06/14 Germany vs. Portugal – Arena Fonte Nova
22/06/14 United States vs. Portugal – Arena Amazonia
26/06/14 Portugal vs. Ghana – Nacional
Portugal was the betting favorite to win their World Cup qualifying group, but finished behind a surprising Russian squad. They did not have a tough group, but their first loss in the group against Russia and draws against Northern Ireland and Israel put them behind the 8-ball early. However, they regrouped winning 6 of their next 7 matches including an away and home European playoff tie facing a legit Sweden team. In the 2nd leg Ronaldo netted a hat trick and in the first leg he scored the lone goal in the match.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Obviously the biggest strength of the squad is Ronaldo and his attacking abilities, but when defenses trap him other players will have to step up. Center back Bruno Alves is the leader of the defense and he is also solid on offense, especially on corner kicks. Playmakers Joao Moutinho will have to get Ronaldo the ball from the midfield and also help thwart the counter-attack since Portugal pushes forward on offense. The squad is not good at defending corners and set pieces, which may really hurt them facing Germany.Comments Off