Prediction & odds for the game: Serbia (15/4) v Portugal (7/10) – ST is backing the away win
When: Saturday, 27th March @ 7.45pm K.O
Where: Crvena Zvezda Stadium
Serbia and Portugal will both attempt to continue their winning start to their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign when they meet on Saturday.
The Serbian national team have a real point to prove moving forward after they failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 2020, with Scotland instead qualifying in their place. We’ve seen what they can do in the last decade or so in big tournaments but for whatever reason, they just can’t seem to get out of their own way. They appear to have found a structure that works in the last few months but actually executing their plan on the pitch is an entirely different ball game.
The pendulum of international football so regularly swings back and forth as the years go on, but the same is true for individual games. Serbia went toe to toe with the Republic of Ireland last night and it turned out to be quite the war. Ireland, who aren’t known for scoring lots of goals, pushed the Serbians to the very brink with the hosts managing to edge out a vital 3-2 win.
The Champions of Europe are clearly eager to defend their title, probably because they know there isn’t a whole lot of pressure on their shoulders. They were the underdogs throughout the tournament five years ago and they’re the underdogs now, only this time, there’s an argument to be made that their squad is even better. That may not necessarily translate into another title but we wouldn’t rule them out of a place in the semi-finals at the very least.
It took an own goal to do it but Portugal just about managed to edge past Azerbaijan last night in a game that did little to inspire the masses. They had their moments of real control but they just seemed to sit on their lead once they had it, which didn’t make for much of a spectacle.
As was the case for both nations in their opening fixtures, we think this one is going to be quite a tight affair – but we aren’t expect a goalfest. Serbia will take confidence from the win over Ireland and they’ll believe in their ability to really get at Portugal, but on the flip side, we’re talking about the reigning European champions here. They aren’t just going to lie down and take it and we actually think they’ll be more composed, which is why we’re backing the visitors to win.
We think the scoreline is going to be 1-0 Portugal, ensuring we stick to the under 2.5 goals bracket.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 7/10 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 9/10 (All odds are taken from bet365).
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