Prediction and odds for the game: Portugal (1/5) vs North Macedonia (14/1)
We are backing half-time/full-time at odds of 3/1
When: Tuesday 29 March 2022, Kick-off 19:45
Where: The Estadio Do Dragao
On Tuesday night, Portugal and North Macedonia clash in Porto in one of the two World Cup play-off finals. The home team are big favourites to book their place at Qatar 2022.
The Selecao booked their place in this play-off final by recording a 3-1 home win over Turkey. The win was not just needed to set this tie-up, but to raise spirits amongst the national team after they finished the group stages with disappointing results against the Republic of Ireland and Serbia.
The latter game produced a 2-1 defeat that saw Fernando Santos consigned to playing in the play-offs, with Serbia taking the automatic qualification spot. Despite the late mishap, Portugal have won five of their last seven games in World Cup qualifying, having also scored at least two goals in six of their last eight qualifiers.
The Selecao have a formidable home record in World Cup qualifying, winning 11 of their last 12 qualifiers on home soil.
The visitors were one of the surprise packages of World Cup qualifying, finishing second place in Group J behind Germany. North Macedonia made it through to the play-off final by recording a late shock 1-0 win at European champions Italy.
The victory was a shock because of the contrasting reputations. However, North Macedonia headed into the semi-final on the back of a superior form to the Azzurri. The win in Palermo was their fourth win in five World Cup qualifiers.
The game also saw North Macedonia keep their fourth clean sheet in their last six qualifiers. They have also conceded just once in their last three qualifiers.
The visitors have been tough to beat on their travels in World Cup qualifiers of late, as they are unbeaten in their last five away matches, having recorded four wins in the process. Blagoja Milevski’s team have also scored at least two goals in five of their last six away qualifiers.
The recent history of this fixture is slightly against North Macedonia, as they have faced Portugal on two occasions, with the Selecao winning once and the other game ending in a draw. However, the fact that there was just one goal in the two games showed the close nature of the two encounters.
We expect Portugal to record a victory in this clash, but as the visitors showed against Italy they are no pushovers and should push Portugal all the way. The first bet we are backing is half-time/Portugal, as we believe the visitors will keep it tight in defence, but the home team will have enough quality to win in the end.
The other bet we recommend is for Diogo Jota to be an anytime goalscorer. The Liverpool forward scored in Portugal’s last game, while also being in good goalscoring form for his club side.
Our Tips: We are backing half-time/Portugal at odds of 3/1 and/or Diogo Jota to be an anytime goalscorer at odds of 21/20. (All odds are taken from Bet365).[geosnippet id=3620]
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Will Portugal or North Macedonia qualify for Qatar 2022?