Portugal Too Strong for Chile

    Portugal Too Strong for Chile
    Marco Iacobucci EPP / Shutterstock.com

    The 2017 Confederations Cup has reached the semi-final stage and we have two excellent games in prospect.  The first semi-final is between 2016 European Championship winners Portugal and 2016 Copa America winners Chile.

    Portugal finished top of Group A, above Mexico, New Zealand and the host nation, Russia.  Things didn’t go smoothly in the opening match of the tournament against Mexico and despite twice taking the lead, Mexico came back to equalise and take a share of the spoils.

    The second match against Russia was always going to be a tight game and so it proved but an early goal from Cristiano Ronaldo was enough for the Portuguese to claim maximum points.

    In their final group game, against New Zealand, there was only going to be one winner but Portugal were made to wait for over 30 minutes before making the breakthrough.  Once they got the first goal, there was little doubt in the result and the Portuguese ran out 4-0 winners to claim top spot in the group.

    Chile were drawn in Group B of the 2017 Confederations Cup along with Germany, Cameroon and Australia.

    La Roja won their first match 2-0 against Cameroon, which left them in a strong position going into their match against tournament favourites, Germany.  Chile took the lead in the game but could not hold on and the match finished in a 1-1 draw, a result which both teams seemed happy with.

    The most disappointing result for Chile came against Australia, which finished 1-1.  Chile were expected to win this match with something to spare but were forced to come from behind to claim a draw.  It was enough to see them finish second in the group.

    It’s difficult to read too much into the group stage results when looking ahead to this match.  Portugal picked up a point against their strongest opponents, Mexico.  Chile also held their strongest group opponents to a draw, which were Germany.

    However, when faced against weaker opposition, Portugal got the job done convincingly, whereas Chile struggled in their final match against Australia.  Juan Antonio Pizzi’s team have failed to keep a clean sheet in the tournament but Portugal have managed two and defensive solidity is where the game could be won and lost.

    Looking at the team news and Portugal will be without Raphael Guerreiro, who picked up a suspected broken ankle in the group stages.  The Borussia Dortmund man is the only absentee for Fernando Santos who will start with Cristiano Ronaldo up-front.

    Chile have no missing players and Claudio Bravo is expected to start in goal, despite previous concerns over his fitness.  Alexis Sanchez will lead the attack alongside Eduardo Vargas, with Arturo Vidal providing support from midfield.

    Chile have not really got going in the 2017 Confederations Cup and Portugal will see this as a chance to progress to the final.  If the latter stages of Portugal’s Euro 2016 campaign are anything to go by, expect a tight game, with Portugal winning by a single goal.

    Predictions for Confederations Cup

    Home team - Away team Tip
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    02/07/2017 12:00
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    02/07/2017 18:00
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    29/06/2017 18:00
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    28/06/2017 18:00

    Confederations Cup - predictions, tips, statistics

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