New Zealand – Portugal (Confederations Cup)
After wining by the minimum margin against the hosts Russia, it is now time for Portugal and New Zealand play the last round of Group A of the Confederations Cup, which will take place at Krestovsky Stadium, in Saint Petersburg. New Zealand are at the bottom of the Group A and are yet to get their first point in the competition, and now they must play for pride against the reigning European Champions. Portugal, on their turn, are with one foot in the semi-finals, with a draw here being enough to qualify, but they will look for a strong win here in to qualify as first placed.
New Zealand are at the bottom of Group A with zero points, result of 2 defeats, and with 1 goal scored and 4 goals conceded. The Kiwis began their campaign in this competition with a 2-0 defeat against the hosts Russia, and faced Mexico in the last round where they had advantage on the scoresheet, wining by 1-0, but ended up being defeated by 1-2, a defeat that erased their last shred of hope they had to qualify to the knockout phase.
However, New Zealand will try to, at least, leave the competition with a positive result against the reigning European Champions. The Kiwis don’t have any know name in their squad, with exception of Brotherton, Sunderland’s defender, Bill Tuiloma, Marseille’s midfielder, and Chris Wood, Leeds United’s striker and the top scorer in the Championship this past season.
In their las t 5 matches, New Zealand has a record of 1 victory and 4 defeats. This sequence of results started with a 2-0 win over Fiji. This result was followed by 1-0 defeat against Northern Ireland, friendly match, a 1-0 defeat agains Belarus, friendly match, a 2-0 defeat against Russia, and in their last round, a 2-1 defeat against Mexico.
Probable Lineup: Marinovic – Boxall, Brotherton and Durante – Colvey, Thomas, McGlinchey and Wynne – Rojas – Barbarouses and Wood.
Portugal, on their turn, are 2nd placed in the Group A with 4 points, leveled with leader Mexico, result of 1 victory and 1 draw, with 3 goals scored and 2 goals conceded. The portuguese squad began their campaign through this competition with a 2-2 draw against Mexico in game where they were leading the scoresheet twice, wining 1-0 and 2-1, and performed in a little disappointing way. In their last match, against Russia, the Quinas performed much better and dominated the game, although they have only secured a 1-0 win.
A draw here is enough to secure access to the semi-finals, but Fernando Santo’s men will surely take advantage of their superiority in terms of talent and quality and will aim for a strong win here, a win that qualifies them as Group leaders. The gap in the quality between the two teams is huge, with Portugal having players with a superior competitive rhythm and with greater experience in this type of competitions, not to mention their talented players that represent some of Europe’s biggest football clubs, and also have the best player in World, Cristiano Ronaldo.
In their last 5 matches, Portugal has a record of 3 victories, 1 draw and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with 2-3 defeat against Sweden, friendly match. This result was followed by a 4-0 win against Cyprus, friendly match, a 0-3 win against Latvia, for the 2018 World Cup, a 2-2 draw against Mexico, and in their last round, a 0-1 win against Russia.
Probable Lineup: Patricio – Cedric, Pepe, Bruno Alves and Eliseu – Danilo, Adrien Silva, Bernardo Silva and Andre Gomes – Andre Silva and Ronaldo.
This will be their first ever direct confront. Portugal holds, clearly, a much more organized and talent squad. Besides that, the Quinas performed better after the game against Mexico and will surely perform even better here than they did against Russia. Portugal will have a strong entrance in the game and will get a strong win here.