29.2 C
Saturday, April 1, 2023

Preview: Portugal vs. Nigeria – Prediction, Team News, Lineups

Must read

Listen now
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Portugal wrap up their preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup with a friendly matchup against African heavyweight Nigeria at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Thursday.

The three-time African champions, who will not be participating in Qatar following their qualifying heartbreak, will be looking to return to winning ways and close out the year on a high as they prepare for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures.

Off the back of a somewhat disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign, where they finished one point behind group winners Spain, Portugal will be looking to make their mark in Qatar.

Having picked up three wins and one draw from their first five matches, a 1-0 home loss against Luis Enrique’s men on September 27 saw A Selecao lose top spot in Group A2 in their final group outing.

Drawn in Group H of the World Cup alongside Ghana, South Korea and South American powerhouse Uruguay, Portugal are slight favourites to finish as group winners and progress to the knockout stages.

Portugal, who are making a sixth consecutive World Cup appearance, will be looking to reach their first-ever final and have called-up a star-studded squad for the task at hand, with skipper Cristiano Ronaldo headlining the squad once again.

Nigeria, on the other hand, will head into Thursday looking to finally give their fans something to cheer for following what has been an underwhelming year.

The three-time African champions kicked off the year with a round-of-16 exit from the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations as they fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tunisia on January 23.

Shortly afterwards, the Super Eagles fell short in their bid for a place in Qatar as they were beaten by West African rivals Ghana on the away goal rule following a 1-1 aggregate draw in the qualifying playoffs in March.

Nigeria’s last friendly victory came back in March 2019, when they saw off seven-time AFCON champions Egypt 1-0 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium courtesy of an early strike from Genk forward Paul Onuachu.

The West African side, who have lost their last three matches across all competitions — including a 2-0 defeat against Costa Rica just five days ago — will be looking to close out the year on a high as they prepare for their remaining AFCON qualifying fixtures.

Portugal possible starting lineup:
Sa; Dalot, Silva, Pereira, Guerreiro; Palhinha, Neves, Vitinha; Leao, Otavio, Ramos

Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Uzoho; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Bassey, Akpoguma; Onyeka, Ndidi, Iwobi; Chukwueze, Dennis, Onuachu

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article