The winners of the inaugural UEFA Nations League will be decided this week in Portugal, as the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals brings UEFA’s latest international innovation to a conclusion.
The host nations Portugal take on Switzerland in the opening semi-final on Wednesday 5 June, with the winners taking on the winner of the second semi-final between the Netherlands and England on Sunday 9 June.
Check out our statistics, analysis, and free tips for Portugal vs Switzerland.
Portugal may have won Euro 2016 but, after benefitting from the way draw worked in their favour, they haven’t exactly set the world alight since.
At the 2018 World Cup, they played their part in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain before beating Morocco 1-0 and Iran 1-1. They then lost 2-1 to Uruguay in the round-of-16.
They then won Group A3 in the Nations League, beating Italy 1-0 at home and Poland 3-2 away from home, as well as drawing their other two matches. They finished the four games with a +2 goal difference, highlighting that the group was tighter than Portugal’s points superiority suggested.
Their start to the 2020 European Championship Qualifying campaign has also been poor, drawing their opening two home games against the Ukraine and Serbia.
Switzerland have been talked about as a potential force in world football for a while now, but they’ve yet to accomplish anything of real note. At the 2018 World Cup, they held Brazil and Serbia to score draws, whilst they also beat Serbia 2-1.
However, they were more impressive in winning Group A2 in the Nations League. They started with a 6-0 mauling of Iceland and, despite losing 2-1 in Belgium, they kept their final dreams alive with a 2-1 win in Iceland before taking their revenge on Belgium with a 5-2 home win.
They also looked sure to stamp their authority on 2020 European Championship qualifying, after winning 2-0 in Georgia and leading Denmark 3-0 with just six minutes to go, only to draw 3-3 in a sensational climax to that game.
Portugal vs Switzerland Head To Heads
Portugal and Switzerland have met several times, but the only two heads to heads that are likely to give us a pointer to this game is the two matches they contested in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
Both matches were won 2-0 by the home side, with Portugal taking a first-half lead through an own goal before doubling their winning margin early in the second half. Meanwhile, Switzerland were 2-0 up after 30 minutes in their win in Switzerland.
Portugal eventually emerged as group winners on goal difference from the Swiss, with Switzerland forced to qualify for the finals by beating Northern Ireland in a play-off.
Portugal vs Switzerland Summary
Switzerland have shown they can play entertaining football when faced by a team that also likes to attack. However, whilst Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain and their 3-2 win in Poland highlight their abilities to score goals when they need to, they tend to prefer to play defensively and try and win games against decent opponents by the odd goal or two.
That’s why it’s hard to see this match producing lots of goals, unless one of the teams scores early and it opens up. That’s why less than 2.5 goals could be the most likely outcome.
Despite winning their home match 2-0 against Switzerland in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group, it’s hard to make a case that Portugal are quite as good as they were a couple of years ago. Poland, Serbia, and the Ukraine have all left Portugal with a point from Portugal’s last three home games and this match could easily go to extra time.
It’s also easy to see this being a tight match according to the world rankings, with just one place separating the two teams. That makes the draw at full-time looking appealing at 11/4 or better. In the hope that it a draw after 90-minutes, it might also be worth adding a little more excitement by betting on there being a penalty shootout at 6/1 or bigger.