Portugal have only qualified for the World Cup Final on six previous occasions, though this will be their fifth consecutive appearance. Their first appearance in 1966 was actually their most successful, as they finished third. They then had to wait until 1986 for their next appearance, which saw them exit in the Group Stage, a fate they suffered again in 2002. In 2006 they again made it to the semi-finals, where they were beaten 1-0 by France, before then losing the third and fourth places play-off 3-1 against Germany. In 2010 they managed to qualify for the knockout stages without conceding a goal, with 0-0 draws against the Ivory Coast and Brazil, and a 7-0 win over North Korea. They then went out to the eventual champions Spain 1-0 in the last-16. However, they took another backwards step in 2014, when beating Ghana and drawing with the USA wasn’t enough to get them into the knockout stages.
Therefore, the big questions are, can Portugal win the 2018 World Cup? If not, what stage of the competition are they likely to be eliminated at?
Portugal 2018 World Cup Stage Of Elimination Betting
4/1 Group Stage, 6/4 Last-16, Quarter-Final 5/2, Semi-Final 7/1, Runner-Up 10/1, Winner 25/1
Christiano Ronaldo will be hungry for World Cup success, as this could conceivably be the 32-year-old’s last World Cup. Portugal will have high hopes too after winning at the 2016 Euros, especially as they proved they are not a one-man team by beating France despite an early injury to Ronaldo in the final. However, for them to be successful, Ronaldo will probably have to improve on his goal-scoring record at the last two World Cups, in which he scored just one-goal each time. Portugal are usually very solid in defence though.
Portugal are second-favourites behind Spain in Group B and, though Spain have had some poor tournaments of late, new manager Julen Lopetegui seems to have renewed belief that the Spaniards can return to the same sort of form that saw them win the 2010 World Cup. Strong in all departments, with the possible exception of strikers, Spain could prove tough to beat.
Portugal will be hopeful of beating Morocco, as the Moroccans will surely be nervous as they step out on to the world’s biggest stage for the first time in twenty years. However, they have pace and flair throughout the team, and maybe more of a handful than the bookies predict.
Iran may not be pushovers either as, buoyed by qualification for the finals in 2014, the Iranians have built a side that went unbeaten through qualifying, keeping 9 clean-sheets in final-qualifying. They also have a Portuguese Manager in Carlos Queiroz, who will surely know a fair bit about the Portuguese players.
Group B Betting suggests that Portugal should have little difficulty qualifying for the knockout stages and, though the 4/1 for a Group Stage exit looks value considering they have exited at that stage in half of their World Cup appearances, you’re pinning your hopes on either Iran or Morocco producing their best football yet. The 7/1 for Portugal to reach the semi-finals is also tempting, as they’ve managed that in 2 of their 6 World Cup appearances, but they surely won’t get as lucky with the draw as they did at the 2016 Euros. Therefore, on the assumption they’ll finish second in Group B, they may repeat their 2010 performance of a last-16 exit if they draw one of the best sides at this stage.
Portugal 2018 World Cup Tips
Eliminated in the round of Last-16 @ 6/4 (Bet365)