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Portugal vs Turkey in the FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Play-Offs on March 24, 2022 – Odds & Prediction

Portugal vs Turkey in the FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Play-Offs on March 24, 2022 – Odds & Prediction

After finishing in second place in their qualifying group, Portugal now face their fifth major tournament qualification playoffs in the last seven campaigns.

Fernando Santos’ side were seemingly en route to direct qualification for the showpiece event in Qatar in November, but despite needing just a draw against Serbia in their final game, a damaging and dramatic late defeat at home cost them dearly.

Similarly for Turkey, they had to settle for second spot in their group, with the Netherlands booking their ticket with a narrow two-point cushion. After losing all three of their games at a disastrous Euro 2020, scoring just one goal and conceding eight, Stefan Kuntz, appointed in the aftermath of last summer, will be hoping to restore pride and success with the national team.

History shows that Portugal often get the better of their upcoming opponents, having won six of the last eight meetings. However, the last time these two nations met was in a 2012 friendly, with Turkey sealing a 3-1 win in Lisbon.

Continue reading for our expert football betting tips for the clash.

MarketPrediction
To Win To NilPortugal
bet365
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Portugal Win to Nil

Compared to their forgettable European Championship campaign, Turkey were much more competitive in the battle to reach the FIFA World Cup at the end of the year.

However, a closer look at the opposition shows that there were games they were expected to win, and when it came to tougher assignments, notably against the Dutch and Norway, they stumbled and picked up just one point while conceding seven goals in the last two showdowns with the pair.

In the last four encounters between these two nations, Portugal have a clean sweep of wins and haven’t conceded a single goal. Coupled with their experience in this environment in terms of a major tournament qualifying play-off, as well as having home advantage, all the cards stack in their favour.

With that in mind, we can’t ignore the odds of 5/4 (bet365) – available as well with best betting websites – for a Portugal win to nil in the cauldron that will be the Estadio do Dragao.

Portugal Form, squad news, opinion

With another round of domestic fixtures to come prior to the playoff clash, Santos will be keeping his fingers crossed that his main protagonists stay healthy and avoid any injury setbacks.

As always, the main focus will be on talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned from a recent knock to put a hat-trick past Tottenham for Man Utd. Despite turning 37 last month, Portugal’s captain remains the figurehead of their attack, as he looks to add to his incredible tally of 115 goals in 184 caps for his country.

Since the conclusion of Euro 2020, they’ve won five, drawn one and lost one. While that defeat came in the biggest of all spots, they scored 17 goals and conceded just four in that run. This isn’t their first rodeo, and they have key players across the pitch with experience at the highest level to help them advance.

Turkey form, squad news, opinion

Turkey finished qualifying with three consecutive wins as they ended strongly, but it wasn’t enough to displace the Netherlands at the top of the tree.

While it all came crashing down last summer, their strength should lie in their defensive solidity with Merih Demiral and Caglar Soyuncu forming their centre-half pairing, while the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu and Burak Yilmaz will lead their charge in the final third.

There is quality in this squad, but Kuntz will be hoping that his senior leaders in the side are available as any absentees could be costly, and having scored 27 goals in 10 qualifying games, they certainly know how to find the back of the net, albeit against inferior opposition.

History

These two sides have met on eight previous occasions, with Portugal winning six and Turkey picking up two victories.

However, the important aspect of their head-to-head record is how they fared in competitive games, and Portugal have won every single encounter in that setting.

The most recent came in the 2008 European Championship, and as noted above, that made it four consecutive meetings in which the Selecao won in major tournaments, and they didn’t ship a single goal.

About the Venue

The Estadio do Dragao in Porto holds just over 50,000 spectators, and it has been a happy hunting ground for Portugal in recent years.

You’d have to go back to 2004 to find their last defeat at the stadium which came in the ill-fated European Championship that year, but they’ve since won seven and drawn three there. That’s an ominous sign for Turkey, who have to find a way to breach fortress Dragao.

Conclusion

Ultimately, all the key factors favour Portugal in this one. They have the experience and pedigree to deal with the high-pressure situation and they have the world-class talent to make the difference with moments of magic.

Add home advantage and Turkey’s struggles when they face a step up in class of opposition, this firmly points at Portugal sealing a commanding win and advancing a step closer to the World Cup.

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