Portugal vs Switzerland World Cup 2022: Date & Time, Match Preview, Team News, Prediction
Portugal and Switzerland will lock horns in the round of 16 on Tuesday in a bid to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Portugal have only made it to the quarter-finals of a World Cup once since 1966. They finished as the toppers in Group H, winning two and losing one of their three games. Fernando Santos' men scored six goals in the group stage and their dynamic attackers will once again need to produce the goods on Tuesday.
Portugal fell 2-1 to South Korea in their final group-stage game. But Santos rested some of their starters after already sealing a berth in the knockout stages prior to their final group stage game.
Cristiano Ronaldo's form in front of goal will be a cause for concern for Portugal. Despite that, Portugal have enough firepower in their ranks to dispatch their round of 16 opponents.
Switzerland qualified for the knockout stages with a spectacular 3-2 win over Serbia in their final group-stage game. Xherdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo and Remo Freuler got on the scoresheet for the Swiss as Murat Yakin's side finished second in Group G behind Brazil.
Date, kick-off time and venue
|Photo: Getty Images|
Portugal vs Switzerland is scheduled for a 7pm GMT kick-off on Tuesday December 6, 2022.
The match will take place at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar.
A successful start to their Qatar 2022 campaign left Portugal needing just a point in the final round of group matches to be certain of finishing first, and qualification for the knockout stages had already been assured.
When Ricardo Horta - one of a number of fresh faces introduced for the occasion by coach Fernando Santos - put them ahead against South Korea in the fifth minute, it seemed the Selecao would stroll straight through. Yet, their opponents staged one of several comebacks that have characterised the finals' first fortnight: equalising before the break and then producing a dramatic 91st-minute strike to condemn them to a 2-1 defeat.
Despite suffering their first setback, Uruguay's victory over Ghana sealed Portugal's progress as Group H top dogs, and they now seek to successfully negotiate the last 16 for the first time since 2006, when they ultimately finished fourth in Germany.
Having seen his side start their World Cup by beating Ghana 3-2 and then adding a 2-0 win against Uruguay last Monday, when Bruno Fernandes found the net twice, Euro 2016 winner Santos can feasibly aim to break new ground this winter.
A Eusebio-inspired Portugal finished third at the 1966 World Cup, but for all their success at youth level the Iberian nation has never made it to a senior global final. Indeed, two of their last three campaigns ended in the first knockout round.
With speculation still raging about the form and fitness of one-man record machine Cristiano Ronaldo, Santos must get his team selection spot on in Lusail, as the Selecao encounter familiar opposition with a proven track-record in major finals.
When they last met their Swiss counterparts in the UEFA Nations League earlier this year, there were two very different outcomes in the space of a few days: Portugal were comprehensive 4-0 winners in Lisbon - with Ronaldo bagging a first-half brace - before Switzerland then turned the tables with a 1-0 victory in Geneva.
Portugal team news
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PSG wingback Nuno Mendes was ruled out of the World Cup after sustaining a thigh injury. His club-mate Danilo Pereira damaged three ribs during a training session, leaving the converted centre-back's availability in doubt.
Otavio missed Portugal's final two group games with muscular discomfort but is nearing a return.
Portugal predicted lineup vs Switzerland
Portugal Starting 11 (4-3-3): Costa; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Bernardo, Neves, Carvalho; Fernandes, Ronaldo, Felix.
Bench: Patricio, Sa, Andre Silva, Dalot, Pereira, Palhinha, Vitinha, Mario, Nunes, Horta, Ramos, Antonio Silva, Leao.
Switzerland team news
First-choice goalkeeper Yann Sommer and centre-back Nico Elvedi both missed Switzerland's final group game against Serbia through illness. With four days to recover for the last 16, both are in with a chance of featuring.
Switzerland predicted lineup vs Portugal
Switzerland Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Widmer, Elvedi, Akanji, Rodriguez; Xhaka, Freuler; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo.
Bench: Kobel, Omlin, Comert, Zakaria, Frei, Jashari, Aebischer, Fernandes, Rieder, Fassnacht, Steffen, Okafor, Seferovic, Schar.
Portugal vs Switzerland score prediction
This is a meeting between two sides that know each other well. Switzerland had only played six competitive matches in 2022 before the World Cup but still managed to face Portugal twice. Portugal thrashed Die Nati 4-0 in the Nations League match in Lisbon before almost the exact same side - minus Cristiano Ronaldo - lost 1-0 in Geneva just seven days later.
If Portugal are a team that struggles to harness the full potential of their talented individuals, Switzerland are far greater than the sum of their parts. “We don’t have Ronaldos and Messis in the team, we only function when we work together,” their captain, Granit Xhaka, says. “Playing against us is very uncomfortable.”
In what may well be an attritional contest, it may be tight even if it goes to penalties as both nations possess specialist goalkeepers in that area. Theoretically, the technical excellence of Portugal's team should give them the edge but it could go either way.
Prediction: Portugal 1-1 Switzerland (Portugal win on penalties)
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