Portugal has Difficult Quest for the World Cup
To win the World Cup: +2500
To win Group B: +195
To advance to Round of 16: -360
The European champion’s, Portugal, will play their first match later this month, when they travel to Russia. Coach Fernando Santos has been riding their surprise success two years ago. However, that championship was secured by a slim margin, since they drew six of their seven matches in 90 minutes and even the final against hosts France.
This makes many wonder if Portugal’s status as a favorites to move on from Group B is questionable, considering recent strange results in friendly’s against the Netherlands and Tunisia.
But this competition will be much harder. The group opener with Iberian neighbors Spain is similar to facing and losing first round match to the eventual champions Germany first up in Rio four years ago After Spain, they face Morocco and Iran, two sides with impressive defensive ability.
Portugal’s defense is old.
The 3 senior backs total a combined 108 years. And while there are exciting players in the ranks, Santos is a pragmatic coach who doesn’t get the best from those at his disposal in general. The likes of Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes are ones to watch, that’s for sure, but the omission of Wolves’ midfielder Ruben Neves while Adrien Silva got the call is evidence enough that the coach is willing to overlook form in favor of experience, despite the fact that the latter has played very little club soccer all season.
Cristiano Ronaldo is amazing but often frustrated with those around him at the international level, and that could be the overriding emotion for the Euro 2016 victors this time around.
World Cup 2018
Group A: Russia | Saudi Arabia | Egypt | Uruguay
Group B: Portugal | Morocco | Iran | Spain
Group C: France | Australia | Peru | Denmark
Group D: Argentina | Iceland | Croatia | Nigeria
Group E: Brazil | Costa Rica | Switzerland | Serbia
Group F: Germany | Mexico | Sweden | South Korea
Group G: Belgium | Panama | Tunisia | England
Group H: Poland | Senegal | Colombia | Japan