Portugal may be eighth favourites to lift the trophy on 18 December, but their qualification campaign was far from straight forward.
They dropped into the play-offs having failed to beat Republic of Ireland and Serbia, before just about seeing off Turkey before seeing off North Macedonia in the final,, who had beaten Italy to advance to the final stage.
Despite being recognised as one of the prominent sides of Europe and with one of the best players of all time in their ranks, they have failed to win a knockout game at the World Cup since beating England in 2006 in a penalty shootout. In 2010 and 2018 they fell to Spain and Uruguay respectively, but in 2014 they suffered the embarrassment of being eliminated in the groups by USA.
However with recent tournament glory - they won Euro 2016 - and a squad rich with talent, they will fancy themselves to break that duck after advancing from a group including Ghana, Uruguay and Korea Republic.
Portugal World Cup 2022 Tips
Read the latest Portugal odds ahead of the World Cup, including their odds to win the tournament, odds to claim the golden boot, 101 Great Goals’ top tip and more 2022 World Cup predictions and tips.
Portugal World Cup Predictions
Despite their recent performances in the World Cup, Portugal have developed a strong group that can be expected to take them deep into the tournament.
Portugal Golden Boot Prediction
With 117 international goals prior to the World Cup starting and over 700 professional goals to his name, Ronaldo heads into the World Cup knowing it will likely be his last on the biggest stage of all. A lack of game-time for Manchester United could come back to bite him, but given his desire to perform for his country and conditioning, he will be raring to go.
Despite being the man who led Portugal to Euro and Nations League success, the general consensus is that Fernando Santos is holding this team back. Six years ago, his pragmatic approach perfectly suited a limited squad that did incredibly well to win the Euros. Now though, at the helm of a squad stacked with young talent, Portugal have not evolved in line with this.
So, Portugal play a rather defensive style even if, on paper, there’s so many outstanding forward-thinking players to choose from.
Cristiano Ronaldo continues to lead the line, looking to add to his 117 international goals, despite not being a regular at Manchester United. In-behind him, Bruno Fernandes usual operates as the number 10, while the club form of both Bernado Silva and Rafael Leão make them impossible to ignore.
This though would see João Félix, Pedro Neto, Otávio and others left in reserve while Diogo Jota is set to miss the tournament due to calf injury. A big call Santos has made is in goal; 23 year old Diogo Costa has started six of their last eight games, taking over from Rui Patrício, who has 107 caps.
Speaking of experience, Pepe, who made his international debut in 2007, will add to his 128 caps at centre-back, alongside Rúben Dias, Either-side, João Cancelo is one of the world’s very best right-backs, while Santos has to choose between Raphaël Guerreiro or Nuno Mendes on the other flank. On paper, without a shadow a doubt, Portugal have one of the best squad at the tournament, but making it all come together is their biggest issue.
Total appearances: 7
First qualification: 1966
Most recent: 2018
Best achievement: Third place (1966)
World Ranking: 9
Overall record: P30, W14, D6, L10
Until the day he retires, Cristiano Ronaldo will be the key player in any team he plays.
But, at the age of 37, it’s the way that the rest of the team accommodates him that makes Ronaldo so interesting. With the likes of Leão, Fernandes, Silva or Félix buzzing around him, do Portugal have the players to, potentially, get the best out of the man who’s scored more international goals than anybody else?
In tournament football, a forward who scores penalties, headers and goals from inside the six-yard box is invaluable.
If Ronaldo does find the net in Qatar, he’d become the first man to score at five different World Cups; you wouldn’t put it past him would you?
101′s Portugal World Cup Tip
Would it be a massive shock if Portugal were crowned world champions in mid-December? Not really, but it still seems a tad unlikely.
Up against Ghana, Uruguay and Korea Republic, most would expect Portugal to get out of the group but, with Brazil in the group next-door, finishing first will be of paramount importance.
Portugal are 8/13 to top Group H and are priced at 11/4 to get exactly seven points.
With their, potential, route to the final seeing them face Switzerland/Serbia in the second round and then Belgium/Croatia in the quarters, perhaps a deep run is possible.
Should they make the semi-finals, Portugal could agonisingly miss out on a first-ever World Cup final, so backing them to go out in the last four at 6/1 looks like a good price. If you’re a fan of the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry, if both nations top their groups, they’ll be on opposite sides of the draw… just saying! A Portugal vs Argentina World Cup Final is priced at 40/1.
Portugal stats, fixtures and results
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