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FIFA World Cup 2022:Portugal vs Switzerland match preview

Portugal are chasing a first triumph in Cristiano Ronaldo’s likely last World Cup.Switzerland are aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 68 years

by Kolkata Today

Portugal are chasing a first triumph in Cristiano Ronaldo’s likely last World Cup.Switzerland are aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 68 years.The victors will take on the winners of Morocco vs Spain.
Having negotiated their groups, Portugal and Switzerland take to the pitch on Tuesday to conclude the R<ound of 16 at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The match pits Portugal’s mixture of youth and experience against a mature Swiss generation. Group H winners Portugal are trying to win the coveted Trophy for the first time and continue to have Cristiano Ronaldo, now 37, as their standout player. The team is a blend of veterans, like the No7 and centre-back Pepe, 39 years old, and young talents such as Antonio Silva (18), Joao Felix (23) and Rafael Leao (23).

As for Switzerland, they are relying on the generation of Yann Sommer, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, all aged between 27 and 33, who are playing well for their club sides this season. They are looking to break new ground in a quest that began in 2014, when they again made it to the knockout stages after missing the previous tournament.

Team news :

Portugal began their campaign with doubts in attack, but the forward line has performed well. Joao Felix and Rafael Leao have both scored, making it an intense battle for a starting spot on the left. Left-back Nuno Mendes is out injured and will play no further part in the World Cup. For Switzerland, the high-profile duo of Xhaka and Shaqiri have had plenty of back-up during the campaign, particularly from forward Embolo. Doubts surround the participation of goalkeeper Sommer, who did not play against Serbia owing to illness.

Possible line-ups :

Portugal: Diogo Costa, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Ruben Neves, William Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo Switzerland: Yann Sommer, Silvan Widmer, Nico Elvedi, Manuel Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka, Mohameth Sow, Ruben Vargas, Xherdan Shaqiri, Breel Embolo

Head to head :

The two teams have never played each other at a World Cup. In 2008, Portugal and Switzerland met in the UEFA European Championship, with the Swiss winning 2-0. More recently they played each other twice in the UEFA Nations League in June, each team winning one game: 4-0 to Portugal in Lisbon, 1-0 to Switzerland in Geneva.

Portugal won their group for the third time in World Cup history. The other two times they achieved this feat (1966 and 2006), the team made it to the semi-finals.
Switzerland reached the last 16 on their two previous World Cup campaigns, but are seeking to make the quarter-finals for the first time since 1954, when they hosted the competition.
With eight goals, Cristiano Ronaldo is one away from levelling Eusebio as Portugal’s top scorer in World Cup history.
In Qatar, Shaqiri became the first Switzerland player to score at three different World Cups.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said , “The defeat against Korea [Republic] is a warning that we need to maintain our level of play. We cannot relax because every team is dangerous in this World Cup.”

Switzerland coach Murat Yakin said , “Portugal are favourites but in a knockout game anything can happen. If we start well and our tactics work, anything is possible.”

Venue : Lusail Stadium

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