Portugal look to build on their impressive start to the defense of their UEFA Nations League title for Tuesday’s visit to Sweden.
The Friends Arena will play host to one of the biggest clashes of the Nations League, so far, in Sweden and Portugal.
Both sides began their Group A3 campaigns on different notes, with Sweden losing 1-0 to France at home. Portugal, on the other hand, claimed a convincing 4-1 victory over Croatia on Saturday. It leaves them on top of the table with five games left to play.
Sweden Form & Team News
The Blue and Yellow’s four-match winning run came to an abrupt end at the hands of France on Saturday. Kylian Mbappe’s first-half goal was enough to scrap a narrow 1-0 win for the visitors in Stockholm.
It was a disappointing outcome for Sweden, who were unbeaten in their last eight games beforehand. They’d also scored 17 goals, averaging over two goals-per-game, and conceded just twice in that time. However, the hosts will have to quickly brush aside any regrets from the France defeat.
For what will come up next could be an even sterner challenger in the form of European champions and current Nations League title holders Portugal.
Despite failing to impress against France, Marcus Berg will likely start upfront in Janne Andersson’s line-up again. Dejan Kulusevski, meanwhile, may get recalled to the starting eleven after being benched last time out.
While Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof and Brentford’s Pontus Jansson should continue at the heart of the hosts defense.
Portugal Form & Team News
The reigning champions opened their account in Group A3 with an impressive 4-1 win over Croatia. Cristiano Ronaldo may not have been around, but that just made the victory even more impressive.
While the skipper sat in the stands, thanks to a toe infection, Portugal’s other stars stepped up. Bruno Fernandes, for example, bossed the midfield. Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, and Diogo Jota also impressed in the attack. It was a fine performance that proved they’re the real deal.
Fernando Santos is clearly blessed with this young talented squad and can take comfort from this while he awaits updates on Ronaldo, who will travel to Sweden. But while the coach has no concerns over the forward’s fitness, he has to recover from his toe infection to play on Tuesday.
Andre Gomes is out for the Navigators, though, with an unspecified injury and won’t travel to Stockholm.
Overcoming the Swedish defense at the Friends Arena won’t be a straightforward task. But with 12 goals scored in their last five away matches, averaging 2.4 goals-per-game, Portugal will fancy their chances. It doesn’t hurt they’ve only lost two of their 16 games on the road either.
|11/10/2008||Sweden vs Portugal||0-0||World Cup qualifier|
|28/03/2009||Portugal vs Sweden||0-0||World Cup qualifier|
|15/11/2013||Portugal vs Sweden||1-0||World Cup qualifier|
|19/11/2013||Sweden vs Portugal||2-3||World Cup qualifier|
|28/03/2017||Portugal vs Sweden||2-3||Friendly|
Ronaldo’s potential return could prove decisive for Portugal on Tuesday, as well as their strong record on the road. Bet365 is tipping them on Oddschecker at 19/20 to claim victory at the Friends Arena.
Although the hosts have only lost once in their last nine home games in all competitions. Therefore, Unibet’s price of 5/2 for a draw may have some value. But it’s worth noting Sweden have struggled against top national sides in the past. So chances of a home win at 4/1 on Betfair seem remote.
Going for Under 2.5 goals with BetVictor or Betway at 3/4 on Oddschecker, meanwhile, seems a reasonable bet as Sweden have conceded just three goals in their last nine games.
All odds correct at the time of writing and susceptible to change.