Preview - Portugal vs Switzerland 11 Oct

Started by Bensergi, Oct 10, 2017, 10:31 PM

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Group B is set for a thrilling climax on Tuesday as leaders Switzerland head to Lisbon to take on second-placed Portugal, with the group winner set to be decided.

The hosts go into the game three points behind Switzerland but can snatch top spot with a win as they have a better goal difference.

The visitors, meanwhile, need just a point to confirm automatic qualification to FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. The team finishing in second place is assured a play-off place.

Ronaldo is one booking away from a suspension, which is possibly the reason why he was left on the bench against Andorra, and he should start on Tuesday.

However, they will need to improve from the Andorra game, where they were wasteful in front of goal and found it tough breaking down a defence that, prior to the game, had conceded 17 goals.

Switzerland will also prove difficult opponents--they are yet to drop even a point in qualifying so far, having won all nine matches.

The Swiss also have real quality and experience within their team, with players such as Stephan Lichtsteiner, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.

That experience will prove important in what should be a lively atmosphere in Lisbon, where the hosts must go for the win.
Fernando Santos' side will have to attack the visitors, who may well sit back and look to hit them on the break.


Match Stats:

  • Portugal 2-0 Switzerland
  • Shots: 6-4
  • Possession: 49%-51%
  • Corner kicks: 4-3

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month's play-offs.

An own goal from Johan Djourou handed Portugal the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as the hosts finished top of Group B ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

Switzerland, who beat Portugal 2-0 at home last year, had won all nine previous qualifiers but must overcome a two-legged play-off in November to earn a fourth straight World Cup appearance.

Ronaldo, who was injured for the opening qualifying defeat in Basel, returned to the Portugal line-up after coming off the bench to notch the opening goal in a lacklustre 2-0 win in Andorra on Saturday.

Switzerland were attempting to join defending champions Germany -- and Spain ahead of the 2010 finals -- as the only nations to complete a European World Cup qualifying campaign with a perfect record.

But AC Milan striker Andre Silva forced Yann Sommer into a smart early save from his deflected shot, with the Swiss goalkeeper then forced to make a terrific stop to tip over Bernardo Silva's venomous effort.

A clumsy challenge in the area on Switzerland forward Haris Seferovic by Benfica team-mate Eliseu went unpunished as the visitors made a rare foray deep into the Portuguese half.

US pop star Madonna was among the crowd at the Estadio da Luz which erupted when Djourou inadvertently bundled a dangerous cross from Eliseu beyond Sommer four minutes before the break under heavy pressure from Joao Mario.

Xherdan Shaqiri tried to deceive Portugal keeper Rui Patricio with an ambitious free-kick early in the second period, but Portugal doubled their advantage with a brilliant team goal on 57 minutes.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva exchanged passes with former Monaco team-mate Joao Moutinho, threading through the return pass for an unmarked Andre Silva to steer in at the far post.

Switzerland go into the play-offs as the best of the eight runners-up to advance, with Slovakia missing out as the worst of the nine second-placed sides.

Vladimir Petkovic's team will be among the seeded countries for the play-off draw on October 17 and could face Sweden, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland or Greece for a place at Russia 2018.

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