Portgual face off underdogs, North Macedonia in a crucial match to book a spot in World Cup 2022
Portugal face North Macedonia in a World Cup play-off final tonight hoping to book their place in Qatar later in 2022.
While on paper Cristiano Ronaldo’s side are huge favourites, the fact their opponents conquered Italy in Palermo on Thursday night makes this a potential banana skin. European champions Italy had 32 shots in that match but could not breach the North Macedonian defence.
Indeed, for all the quality Portugal boast, they have been prone to the odd slip-up here and there, with Euro 2016-winning coach Fernando Santos coming under huge pressure for his inability to truly make the most of his attacking talent.
For North Macedonia, this is somewhat of a free hit. Growing on the international stage, they are dangerous opponents in their own right but can afford to frustrate the home side before looking for a counter-punch, much as they did against the Italians.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Portugal vs North Macedonia is scheduled for a 7.45pm BST kick-off time tonight, Tuesday March 29, 2022.
The Estadio do Dragao in Porto will host the match.
Portugal vs North Macedonia team news
Portugal XI: Costa, Cancelo, Pepe, Danilo, Mendes, Moutinho, Fernandes, Silva, Otavio, Jota, Ronaldo
Subs: Patricio, Sa, Guerreiro, Fonte, Cedric, Vitinha, Carvalho, Guedes, Nunes, Silva, Leao, Felix
North Macedonia XI: Dimitrievski, Stefan Ristovski, Musliu, Velkovski, Alioski, Elmas, Bardhi, Ademi, Trajkovski, Ristovski, Kostadinov.
Subs: Todoroski, Miovski, Naumovski, Churlinov, Spirovski, Serafimov, Babunski, Nikolov, Babunski, Siskovski, Ristevski, Askovski.
Portugal vs North Macedonia prediction
Portugal, despite their attacking talent, aren’t exactly renowned for their ability to break teams down. That said, they surely have enough to get through, even if it isn’t as straightforward as it may look.
Portugal to win, 2-1.