Portugal – Spain Analysis and prediction
Portugal and Spain will be logging head in a League A Group 2 match at the Estadio Municipal on Tuesday evening.
both teams will be battling for a spot in the Finals of the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League.
Fernando Santos’s men ran out 4-0 victors over the Czech Republic in their most recent encounter, while their Iberian counterparts lost their grip on top spot with a 2-1 loss to Switzerland.
No Joao Cancelo? No problem for Portugal. The Manchester City man was forced to watch Saturday’s game with the Czech Republic from the naughty step, but Diogo Dalot deputised exceptionally well with a brace in that 4-0 triumph.
Diogo Jota and Bruno Fernandes also got their names on the scoresheet as Santos’s side gave themselves the best possible chance of making the Nations League Finals, and with it the chance to earn their second title in the tournament in three years.
With 10 points accrued from a possible 15, the 2018-19 champions have usurped Spain to first place in the table with one game to go, and a draw would be enough for the Selecao to advance to the four-team finals, but three points will still be of paramount importance.
The Czech Republic’s failure to make the net ripple on Saturday represented Portugal’s third clean sheet from their last four Nations League outings, and the Selecao have only conceded two goals in the entire tournament – the best defensive record from any of the 16 teams in League A.
Santos’s side also welcome Spain to their headquarters having won each of their last four home matches in all competitions, and they have only ever failed to win two of their nine Nations League games in front of their own supporters so far.
Spain’s frontline did not cut the mustard against Switzerland, but Enrique’s side always seem to have a knack for scoring goals, and they will be forced to go all out on that front if they are to stand a chance of progressing.
Such an approach will of course leave La Roja vulnerable to Portugal’s pace on the counter, and the Selecao can take advantage to snatch victory and seal their place in the Nations League Finals.
Prediction: both teams to score
possible correct score: Portugal 1 – 1 Spain