Portugal face a tough challenge in their upcoming game against Switzerland in their first knockout game of the Qatar World Cup 2022. See Last Word on Football’s Portugal predicted lineup for their Round of 16 clash against Switzerland.
Portugal Predicted Lineup vs Switzerland
How Portugal Have Lined-up Recently
Fernando Santos has utilized his talented squad pretty well in the World Cup so far, which helped them win their group relatively early on as well. Of course, most of the spotlight is on Cristiano Ronaldo – who could be playing in his final World Cup edition. The 37-year-old forward has been the main man up-front, but not exactly the one to have played a major role in their success so far.
His ex-Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes has been Portugal’s focal force in the World Cup. With two goals and two assists in three games, he’s among the most prolific players in the competition. The likes of Bernardo Silva and Ruben Neves have added steel and creativity to the midfield, while Joan Felix is also a near-guaranteed starter for the Portuguese side.
Portugal have fielded a four-man backline for all their games, with the 38-year-old Pepe commanding the defence alongside Manchester City stars Ruben Dias as well as Joao Cancelo alongside him.
Portugal Recent Form
Santos’ men have played plenty of football in 2022 in preparation for this competition. They played nine games in the calendar year ahead of the World Cup, winning six out of those and losing just twice. Incidentally, however, one of those losses was against their upcoming opponents Switzerland in the Nations League back in June.
Being placed in a fairly competitive group, Portugal showed a lot of character to grind out important wins in their first two games. They managed to pip out African heavyweights Ghana in their opening game with a 3-2 win, before picking up a compelling 2-0 win over Uruguay, which helped them win their group and progress to the Round of 16.
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However, Portugal got a reality check in their final game against South Korea, suffering a damning loss thanks to a last-minute winner. Santos’ side might not be that worried about that because they had rested a lot of key players for it. The team will be back playing their strongest side against the Swiss, which should improve their chances of winning.
Portugal have normally played with a 4-3-3 formation during the competition, focusing on a counter-attacking style and using a lot of wingplay to trouble their opposition sides. The full-backs Cancelo and Diogo Dalot are encouraged to march forward into the attacking areas to add more depth to the side, which allows the likes of Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva to move inwards and add bodies into the final third.
Ronaldo is, of course, the main point of view in the box. Most of the crosses into the box are directed towards him, giving him quite a lot of responsibility to cause trouble. Felix is also troublesome with his movement and can add a creative touch with his smart touches. Fernandes has been a major player for them in the competition, delivering inviting crosses into the box and also clever through balls to send his quick forwards into the empty areas.
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However, Santos’ side emphasizes a lot on good defending. That’s why he urge his midfielders to often drop deep to add more protection for the backline, while Pepe and Dias are both aggressive defenders who like to sniff out attacks before opposition players can get into the area. For them to defeat the challenging Swiss side, Portugal will have to be razor-sharp in every parts of the field and be at their most ruthless form going forward.
Portugal Injuries to Consider
The Portuguese side have been affected by some nasty injury issues in the World Cup. Otavio got injured in their opening game against Ghana and is unlikely to make it back for this game. Left-back Nuno Mendes is also ruled out for the rest of the World Cup after picking up an injury.
This isn’t an injury, but Cristiano Ronaldo could also be something of a doubt. The striker has made headlines lately after being furious at a substitution in the South Korea match, a move which annoyed the Portuguese head coach. This could have a serious impact on the lineup, and if he does start, the way that the team plays.
Portugal Predicted Lineup
Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Ricardo Horta, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo
Last Word on Football recognise Qatar’s human rights abuses and instances of corruption taking place throughout the nation and in the background of the World Cup. Learn more about some of the issues surrounding the World Cup here.