Portugal World Cup 2022 Guide: Key Players, Injuries, Tactics & Tournament Prediction

Portugal go to the World Cup hoping to put Cristiano Ronaldo in the headlines for the right reasons and lift the famous golden trophy.

Ronaldo’s self-inflicted media circus has only added to the pressure on the Selecao, who are heading into their eighth World Cup hoping to reach the final for the first time and make history.

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Here’s what to expect from Portugal at the World Cup.

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), Jose Sa (Wolves), Rui Patricio (Roma)

Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Pepe (Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Antonio Silva (Benfica), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia ) ) Dortmund)

Midfielders: Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Mario (Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolves), Otavio Monteiro (Porto), Vitinha (PSG) , William Carvalho (Real Betis)

Forwards: Andre Silva (RB Leipzig), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Ricardo Horta (Braga)

Portugal have endured a number of significant injuries in recent months which have dashed the hopes of some high-profile players.

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota looked to have overcome a hamstring injury in time for the tournament, but he picked up a calf problem in October which forced him to the sidelines along with Pedro Neto (ankle) and Ricardo Pereira (Achilles).

Silva will be key / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Bernardo Silva

Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva is among the best players on the planet and will undoubtedly have a key role to play if Portugal are to get anywhere this winter. He has 24 assists in 72 caps, including three in his last five games.

Raphael Leo

Serie A’s MVP and a major target for Chelsea, Leao has quickly emerged as an elite forward capable of wreaking havoc from the left flank. He’s still a relative newcomer to the international scene with just 11 caps to his name, but he’s likely to get plenty of minutes due to Jota’s absence.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Whether or not Ronaldo is actually one of Portugal’s best players is up for debate these days, but there’s no denying that the 37-year-old has the ability to single-handedly win any game when he’s really up to it. He is the record goalscorer for international men’s football and will be hoping to move further up the leaderboard.

Bruno Fernandes

Ronaldo’s team-mate at Manchester United, Fernandes arrives at the World Cup in high spirits after his club side’s resurgence. He has nine goals and eight assists for his country behind him and will expect to hit double figures for both when the tournament is over.

Fernando Santos has favored the 4-3-3 formation recently, showing more of an attacking push compared to his 4-1-4-1 side from 2021.

Portugal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Coast; Cancelo, Dias, Danilo, Mendes; Palhinha, Neves, Fernandes; Silva, Ronaldo, Leo.

Harry Symeou hosts Toby Cudworth & Jack Gallagher to look back at Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cups’ series. We’re taking a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the full episode!

Portugal have had an impressive 2022 but it hasn’t always been possible to predict what you will get from them.

They drew 1-1 with Spain on home soil before losing the second leg at home, while also thrashing Switzerland 4-0 before losing to the same team just a week later.

Santos’ side can clearly beat anyone on their day, but if they don’t get all the pieces together they are beatable.

Portugal’s last five results (all competitions)

Portugal 4-0 Switzerland
Portugal 2-0 Czech Republic
Switzerland 1-0 Portugal
Czech Republic 0-4 Portugal
Portugal 1-0 Spain

Portugal may be the biggest name in Group H but whether they are the top team is unclear. They have been drawn with a very tough Uruguay team who will certainly not be afraid in their bid to top the group.

If they qualify from their group as expected, they will likely face one of Brazil or Switzerland, who should finish in that order in Group G. To avoid Brazil, Portugal will probably have to win their group, which won’t be easy.

Although Santos’ men come out on top and draw Switzerland, their recent form proves they can lose against the Swiss. It is difficult to back them from going too far.

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November 15, 2022

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