PORTUGAL welcome Poland for Tuesday evening's Nations League encounter. Gaurav Chaddah (@Gchaddahjourno) highlights the best betting angle.
Portugal v Poland | Tuesday 20th November 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Tuesday night sees the climax of the Nations League group-stage as Portugal host Poland. Whist Portugal’s goalless draw in Italy on Saturday ended there 100% record in the competition, the result did mean guaranteed top spot in the pool and a place in the semi-finals in June, which are on home soil.
The game has very much a dead-rubber feeling about it. Italy’s point on Saturday all but ended Poland’s chances of finishing second. The Poles had drawn in Italy on matchday one and followed that up with a defeat by Portugal and a 1-0 loss at home to Italy.
The reverse fixture last month saw an entertaining battle, with Portugal emerging victorious with a 3-2 win and it’s easy to see why they are well fancied to come out on top again here.
Poland’s star man out of form
Poland find themselves with only a single point and whatever the outcome in this game is to be, relegation to Group B has already been confirmed.
A major issue for the Poles is the form of star man Robert Lewandowski, who is often so important to his national side. Thursday’s 1-0 friendly defeat against Czech Republic saw the captain draw yet another blank. The last time the Bayern Munich forward found the net for his country was in a friendly against Lithuania in June, prior to the World Cup.
Portugal also have their own star man missing in the shape of Cristiano Ronaldo, who hasn’t played for his country since the World Cup. Whilst his cutting edge is what the Selecao may have lacked against Italy on Saturday, CR7’s presence hasn’t exactly been missed, with the Iberians having already qualified.
Don’t expect fireworks
Whilst the last meeting between these sides did produce five goals, I feel it would be a surprise if we were to see the same level of entertainment this time around.
Portugal’s two games at home since the World Cup were both mundane affairs, drawing 1-1 to Croatia and then edging out Italy 1-0, and they are much more renowned for their defensive capabilities than their offensive flair under Fernando Santos.
Poland, likewise, have struggled in the attacking department bar their last outing. In the five games the White Eagles have played since the World Cup, four have yielded Under 2.5 Goals and the visitors have also failed to score in their last two.
Portugal can edge the encounter
Motivation for both sides won’t exactly be high as both know their fate and it wouldn’t be a surprise if both managers were to rotate their teams. However, it is fair to say, the hosts are playing with confidence and momentum, winning three and drawing two of their five games since the World Cup.
Poland, on the other hand, have already been relegated with only a single point and their form post-World Cup has been poor (W0-D2-L3).
I am expecting a rather dull affair but do expect Portugal to prevail. I don’t however expect many goals, and with Boylesports offering a generous 6/5, I’m happy to support Portugal to win and Under 3.5 Goals.
Portugal v Poland – Portugal to win and Under 3.5 Goals (6/5 Boylesports)