Prediction and odds for the game: Portugal (2/5) vs Turkey (6/1)
We are backing the draw at odds of 4/1
When: Thursday 24 March 2022, Kick-off 19:45
Where: The Estadio Do Dragao
On Thursday night, Portugal hosts Turkey at the Estadio Do Dragao in the World Cup play-off semi-finals, with the hosts favourites to progress to the final.
The Selecao will be disappointed not to have qualified automatically from the group stages, where they finish second to Serbia, despite being favourites to top Group A.
A 2-1 home defeat by Serbia in their final group game saw Cristiano Ronaldo and co. consigned to the play-offs. The defeat ended a 16-match unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying for Fernando Santos’ team, while ending a six-game unbeaten run in competitive action.
Portugal have been strong on home soil in World Cup qualifying, as before the vital defeat against Serbia, they had won their previous ten home qualifiers. Incredibly, the Selecao had not suffered a home defeat in World Cup qualifying since 2008 before the loss, so it was a surprising result.
Portugal will be without the likes of Ruben Dias, Nelson Semedo and Renato Sanches, whose absences could all prove crucial.
The visitors finished second-place in Group G of qualifying, finishing two points behind the Netherlands. Their points tally of 21 would have been enough to see them qualify automatically for the World Cup in five qualification groups.
Their only defeat in World Cup qualifying came in a 6-1 hammering in the Netherlands, a result which proved to be decisive in the fight for the one automatic qualification sport for Qatar 2022.
In fact, Turkey have been difficult to beat in recent qualification campaigns, suffering just two defeats in their last 13 outings in qualifiers. Their recent World Cup qualifiers have been high-scoring, with 11 of their last 12 qualifying matches producing over 2.5 goals scored.
Turkey have an impressive recent away record in World Cup qualifiers, having recorded four wins in their last five matches on their travels. Their away games in qualification have been high-scoring, with over 2.5 goals scored in four of their last five matches in World Cup qualification.
Portugal tend to be strong on home soil and the defeat against Serbia may be a blip. Turkey are tough to beat, especially in World Cup qualifiers and they will not be easy opponents. We can see this clash being relatively close and we are backing the game to finish in a draw. The other bet we are backing is for under 2.5 goals scored, as we believe it could be a tight game.
Our Tips: We are backing the draw at odds of 4/1 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 23/20. (All odds are taken from Bet365)
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Will Portugal or Turkey progress to the World Cup play-off final?