Portugal vs Slovakia: Predicted lineup, injury news, head-to-head, telecast
Top of the table clash from Group J of the EURO qualifiers
With the UEFA EURO 2024 final tournament draw scheduled on 2 December, every team currently involved in the EURO qualifiers will be looking to boost their chances in this October international break. Portugal’s national football team are one such contingent in the Group J of the qualifiers. Sitting at the top of the table with 18 points, they have Slovakia chasing them in second.
The Slovakia national football team are on 13 points after six games and will be eager to get a win in the reverse fixture. On matchday 5, Slovakia were beaten in a close contest game by Portugal at their home by 1-0. Now, they have a chance to get even with the 2016 EURO winners at the Estádio do Dragão, Portugal. The Falcons though will be wary of the fact that Portugal did 9-0 to Luxembourg in their last outing.
Friday, 13 October 2023 at 7:45 PM BST
Saturday, 14 October 2023 at 12:15 AM IST
Location: Estádio do Dragão
Portugal (in all competitions): W-W-W-W-W
Slovakia (in all competitions): W-L-W-W-W
Players to Watch
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
One key player that was missing in the Luxembourg 9-0 thrashing is back and available for selection. Cristiano Ronaldo though is on the wrong side of 30, but still remains hungry for more. The striker will get the nod back in the starting lineup. Martinez deems the man as a key part of his plans for the national team. The 38-year-old has 10 goals and 5 assists in 8 Saudi Pro League games for Al Nassr. He will be looking to add to his national team tally of 123 goals.
Robert Mak (Slovakia)
The Slovakia men’s team ranked at 48 currently by FIFA is set to take on Ronaldo’s Portugal and one key away team player will be Robert Mak. The Slovakian left winger plays his trade in the Australian first-tier A-League Men for Sydney FC. Mak is an inspirational figure among the current crop of Slovakia players as he is the only active player among the top five top scorers for his country. He has 16 goals for the national team and will be eager to get closer to their leading retired scorer Marek Hamsik. Hamsik has 26 goals to his name.
- A win for Roberto Martinez’s Portugal side will guarantee their place in the final tournament of the 2024 EURO
- Portugal have a perfect win record in Group J of EURO qualifiers, winning six of six games played
- Slovakia in second place in Group J have lost only once in the last five games. That loss though was at home against Portugal
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Injury & Team News for Portugal vs Slovakia
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be back in the Portugal starting lineup having missed the tie against Luxembourg due to suspension. Interestingly SL Benfica‘s João Neves has been called up for the October break squad. The 19-year-old defensive midfielder could make his first team appearance for the national side under head coach Martinez.
The Slovakia national football team will be led by captain Milan Skriniar. Newcastle United‘s goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka will once again be the man in between the sticks for coach Francesco Calzona. Current active top scorer Robert Mak will once again get the nod after scoring in the last game against the Liechtenstein national football team.
Head to Head
Total Matches – 5
Portugal wins – 4
Slovakia wins – 0
Draws – 1
Portugal predicted lineup (4-3-3):
Costa (GK); Semedo, Dias, Inacio, Cancelo; Neves, Palhinha, Fernandes; B. Silva, Ronaldo, Jota
Slovakia predicted lineup (4-3-3):
Dubravka (GK); Tomic, Gyomber, Skriniar, Hancko; Duda, Lobotka, Benes; Mak, Bozenik, Haraslin
Match Prediction for Portugal vs Slovakia
The 2016 EURO winners are strong contenders for the eventual final tournament. Portugal’s side will see their top scorer Ronaldo back and available for selection. After a perfect six-game run in the qualifiers, Roberto Martinez’s men will be eager to secure the qualification at their home and celebrate with the fans. Although the Slovakia team have enjoyed a good run themselves, it is hard to see them get an away win after failing to win the reverse fixture against The Navigators.
Prediction: Portugal 4-0 Slovakia
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