When Portugal and Switzerland walk out onto the Lusail Stadium pitch, they will both be hoping to turn the corner on their mostly underwhelming World Cup histories. Portugal, the 2016 European Champions have only qualified for the last eight of the tournament in 2006 with their previous time was in 1966. Switzerland have not been in the quarter finals since 1958.
Switzerland came second in Group G with a final game victory over Serbia after beating Cameroon 1-0. Their only blemish was the 1-0 loss to the group winners, Brazil. Portugal had already qualified with two wins over Ghana and Uruguay before losing to South Korea.
- Date: Tuesday, December 6
- Kickoff Time: 11:00 am MT / 2:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm GMT
- Location: Lusail Stadium
- Official: Cesar Ramos (Mexico)
Predicted Portugal XI: Diogo Costa, João Cancelo, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Neves, William Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo
Predicted Switzerland XI: Yann Sommer, Silvan Widmer, Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka, Mohameth Sow, Ruben Vargas, Xherdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo
Cristiano Ronaldo was given a 65 minute runout against South Korea to continue to build up his match fitness. Much of the squad was rotated by coach Fernando Santos. There are some issues with both Danilo Pereira (broken ribs) and Nuno Mendes (thigh) being ruled out for this match, with Mendes unavailable for the rest of the World Cup.
There are no injury worries for the Swiss who are expected to have Noah Okafor back after thigh issues. Also, star goalkeeper Yann Sommer is expected to be available after missing the Serbia match through illness.
Portugal and Switzerland had never played against each other before the 1986 Euros. Since then, they have played 12 times with Portugal winning six, Switzerland winning three, and three draws. In their most recent matches, Portugal have won 3, Switzerland have won 2 with 3 draws.
This will be a close one with Switzerland more than capable of springing a surprise like they did when they beat France at Euro 2020. Portugal have a very deep squad and were able to rest several key players in their last game. Bruno Fernandes has been in great form and there is another player who has a few goals down the years who can change a game on his own. The question is, will Cristiano Ronaldo make things better or worse for Portugal.
Prediction: Portugal 2-1 Switzerland