FIFA World Cup 2022 Round of 16 : Portugal vs Switzerland Match Preview and Lineups

Spain vs Morocco
SCHEDULE TIME
GAME Spain vs Morocco
DATE 07/12/2022
TIME 12:30 AM (Indian Standard Time)
ARENA Lusail Stadium
LEAGUE FIFA World Cup 2022
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FULL TIME
Portugal [6-1] Switzerland

Match Preview of Portugal vs Switzerland

After both qualified for the World Cup knockout phase with two wins from three, Group H winners Portugal meet Group G runners-up Switzerland at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.

In one of just two all-European ties amid a diverse last 16, two teams who experienced very different fortunes in their final group fixtures contest a precious place in the quarter-finals.

A successful start to their Qatar 2022 campaign left Portugal needing just a point in the final round of group matches to be certain of finishing first, and qualification for the knockout stages had already been assured.

When Ricardo Horta - one of a number of fresh faces introduced for the occasion by coach Fernando Santos - put them ahead against South Korea in the fifth minute, it seemed the Selecao would stroll straight through. Yet, their opponents staged one of several comebacks that have characterised the finals' first fortnight: equalising before the break and then producing a dramatic 91st-minute strike to condemn them to a 2-1 defeat.

Despite suffering their first setback, Uruguay's victory over Ghana sealed Portugal's progress as Group H top dogs, and they now seek to successfully negotiate the last 16 for the first time since 2006, when they ultimately finished fourth in Germany.

Having seen his side start their World Cup by beating Ghana 3-2 and then adding a 2-0 win against Uruguay last Monday, when Bruno Fernandes found the net twice, Euro 2016 winner Santos can feasibly aim to break new ground this winter.

A Eusebio-inspired Portugal finished third at the 1966 World Cup, but for all their success at youth level the Iberian nation has never made it to a senior global final. Indeed, two of their last three campaigns ended in the first knockout round.

With speculation still raging about the form and fitness of one-man record machine Cristiano Ronaldo, Santos must get his team selection spot on in Lusail, as the Selecao encounter familiar opposition with a proven track-record in major finals.

When they last met their Swiss counterparts in the UEFA Nations League earlier this year, there were two very different outcomes in the space of a few days: Portugal were comprehensive 4-0 winners in Lisbon - with Ronaldo bagging a first-half brace - before Switzerland then turned the tables with a 1-0 victory in Geneva.

After that summertime win in the Nations League, Switzerland went on to beat both Spain and the Czech Republic in the same competition, before kicking off their improbable quest for a first World Cup by winning two of their first three games in Qatar.

Our Predicted Lineups

Portugal possible starting lineup:Costa; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Cancelo; B. Silva, Neves, Carvalho; Fernandes; Felix, Ronaldo

Switzerland possible starting lineup: starting lineup:Kobel; Widmer, Akanji, Schar, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo

Who will win the match?

We say: Portugal 2-1 Switzerland (after extra time). Given such an abundance of attacking talent, Portugal rarely have a problem with scoring - but protecting a lead is often another matter. The persistent negativity of Fernando Santos often sees the Selecao retreat, which would allow a capable Swiss side to come into their own and force extra time. Nonetheless, the big-game nous of Pepe, Ronaldo and co should just see them over the line.

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