Portugal v Switzerland Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 05/06/19
Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Portugal v Switzerland and provides us with his best bets for Wednesday’s Nations League semi-final by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: -0.17pts
Portugal v Switzerland Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 05/06/2019
- Time: 19:45
- Venue: Estádio do Dragão
- Channel: Sky Sports Football
Portugal will be cheered on by a capacity Estádio do Dragão crowd against Switzerland on Wednesday but they’re unlikely to put on a spectacular showing as they bid to book their spot in the Nations League final.
Seleção boss Fernando Santos is renowned for his pragmatic and well-drilled approach. Let’s not forget, Portugal captured EURO 2016 winning just one of seven games in regular time, drawing six – this is testament to how Santos’ sides restrict opposition to minimal openings through their organised defensive structure.
Santos tends to opt for a double pivot in a compact 4-2-3-1 formation. The job of the two deep-lying midfielders is to block central passing channels and subsequently force the ball to be played out wide, which prevents Portugal’s opposition from working dangerous positions near to goal.
Santos’ Ronaldo-less side progressed to the Nations League finals following a couple of wins and draws against Italy and Poland, whereby Portugal conceded just three times, aligning almost perfectly with their 3.6 xGA figure.
Since being appointed in 2014, Vladimir Petković has largely done an excellent job of keeping Switzerland competitive. The Alpine nation have recorded a selection of superb results in recent years, with wins against Belgium and Portugal and draws with Brazil, Spain, and World Cup winners France being the major highlights.
Switzerland mainly rely on hard-work, organisation, and the creativity of Xherdan Shaqiri, which means they need to be efficient when in possession and in front of goal.
Having struck a tournament high 14 times from 64 shots, giving them an excellent 21.88% conversion rate, efficiency is a trait that’s been evident throughout their Nations League campaign so far
Notably, Petković’s side were required to beat Belgium by two clear goals in their final group game to progress to the finals. They were exceptionally clinical in a stunning 5-2 victory, significantly outperforming their 2.27 xG total.
Notching five goals from just 1.67 xG, Haris Seferović has been particularly impressive. Seferović was the leading scorer with 23 goals in Portugal’s Primeira Liga this season and the Swiss will need the Benfica forward to continue his ruthless form if they’re to break down this stubborn Seleção side.
After being rested for the Nations League group stage, Cristiano Ronaldo will lead out Portugal at the Estádio do Dragão. Either João Moutinho or Rúben Neves are likely to start in place of Danilo, who’s suspended following his dismissal in the Seleção’s final group game against Poland. João Cancelo will be assessed after undergoing an operation on a broken nose, with Nelson Semedo in line to deputise at right-back if he’s deemed to be unfit.
Vladimir Petković has decided to omit Stephan Lichtsteiner from the Switzerland squad, citing the veteran’s lack of playing time as the reason for his absence. Breel Embolo is the only other absentee.
Potential Portugal Starting XI: Patrício, Guerreiro, Pepe, Dias, Semedo, Carvalho, Moutinho, Neves, R. Silva, B. Silva, Ronaldo.
Potential Switzerland Starting XI: Sommer, Rodríguez, Schär, Akanji, Mbabu, Xhaka, Zakaria, Fernandes, Zuber, Shaqiri, Seferović.
Head To Head
- This will be the third meeting between the nations in as many years. Both sides have previously recorded 2-0 home victories.
Key Stats & Facts
- Fernando Santos has W22-D15-L2 in competitive fixtures as Portugal gaffer. 10 of these victories came by more than a goal but eight were against either: Andorra, Faroe Islands, New Zealand, Latvia, Cyprus, or Hungary.
- Santos has W8-D12-L2 versus sides who rank 30th or better based upon the ELO Rating system. Just twice has he recorded wins by bigger than a single goal margin within this sample.
- The Swiss have recorded W23-D7-L6 competitively under Vladimir Petković. Just three of these games saw them lose by two or more goals.
- Portugal – 4/6
- Draw – 73/25
- Switzerland – 5/1
Portugal now have a nice blend of experience and youth with the likes of João Félix and Rúben Neves starting to force their way into the national team frame.
This makes it an opportune time for Fernando Santos to implement a more enterprising style, however this is something that I don’t foresee happening anytime in the near future.
Portugal possess a wealth of both creativity and attacking quality within their ranks, yet, particularly on the big stage, Santos has been persistently pragmatic.
This is sometimes to his players’ detriment, as the Seleção are serial stalemate specialists on the international scene. Under Santos, the Iberians have drawn nine of their 14 fixtures in knockout competitions, winning just four, which, regardless of whether they have home advantage, makes their 4/6 quotes look a little skinny,
As such, I’m happy to swerve the hosts here and instead have a small play on Switzerland with a +0.75 Asian Handicap start. At odds-against, it looks slight value.
This bet will see us a return a winner should the Swiss avoid defeat. If Portugal win by a solitary goal, we record a half stakes loss – any bigger margin of defeat and we lose our full stake.