Scotland v Portugal Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 14th October 2018

Scotland welcome UEFA Euro 2016 winners Portugal to Hampden Park for a friendly fixture on Sunday. The Scots will be looking for an upset on home soil, but the Portuguese head to Glasgow as favourites, even if they will be without star man Cristiano Ronaldo. This will be the first meeting between these two since Portugal beat Scotland 2-0 in a friendly in Braga back in November 2002.

The two sides are in UEFA Nations League action in midweek, so we could see both managers chop and change their team for this one. However, no matter who Fernando Santo picks to play, the current European champions will be formidable opponents for Alex McLeish’s boys on Sunday.

Top Tips

Portugal to Win to Nil @ 21/10

Portugal to Win 3-0 @ 16/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Scotland News: Indifferent Return for McLeish

Hampden Park Football Stadium
Martin Le Roy, Wikimedia Commons

Since returning to the Scotland dugout, McLeish has had a mixed bag of results. After losing his first game back in charge of the national team to Costa Rica, the Scots have beaten Hungary in a friendly and Albania in a Nations League match. However, they have lost to Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico and Belgium so far under McLeish and in truth do not really appear to be making much progress.

In fact, since drawing 2-2 with Slovenia to miss out on qualification to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Scotland have lost five of their subsequent seven games. Nevertheless, after a 2-0 win over the Albanians in their opening Nations League match last month, the Scots will be hoping for six points out of six when they travel to Haifa to play Israel on Thursday night. This competition could really give Scotland a second bite of the cherry when it comes to making the Euros so they are sure to be keen to top their group.

Can the Scots Qualify For Euro 2020?

Scotland put up a brave fight in 2018 World Cup qualifying under Gordon Strachan, missing out on a potential play-off place on the final day. The Scots responded expertly well after a sluggish start, going on to win four and draw two of their last six to miss out by the narrowest of margins. Scotland have not qualified for a tournament since the World Cup in 1998, while their last appearance at a European Championship came two years earlier at Euro 1996. Can McLeish get the nation back to a major tournament for the first time in 22 years?

A Couple of Notable Absentees from the Scotland Squad

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths has withdrawn from the squad to focus on his fitness for his club side over the international break. Meanwhile, Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser, who has been in excellent form for Eddie Howe’s Cherries in the Premier League this term, is out with an unspecified injury.

Portugal News: Portuguese Strong Under Santo

Portuguese Football Fans at Match
George M. Groutas, flickr (Image Cropped)

Portugal have been very successful under Santo since he took over back in 2014. After guiding the Portuguese to Euro 2016 success in France, Santo took the nation to the Round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup, eventually losing out to Uruguay. Portugal have been very consistent over the last few years, and they kicked off their Nations League campaign with a narrow win over Italy in Lisbon last month. Before travelling to Glasgow to play Scotland at the weekend, the European champions face Poland in Chorzow on Thursday in their second Nations League A, Group 3 fixture.

No Ronaldo for Portugal

As said, Portugal have opted against picking Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo for the upcoming internationals against Poland and Scotland. The striker was also rested for September’s games. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been vital to Portugal over the last decade or so, but at the tender age of 33, is his time as Portugal’s main man coming to an end? Since making his debut all the way back in August 2003, Ronaldo has scored a staggering 85 goals for his country, becoming Portugal’s all-time top goalscorer in the process.

Analysis: No Ronaldo, No Problem for Portugal

The absence of Ronaldo will no doubt have an effect on this Portugal side, but the team is still glittered with quality all over the pitch. Scotland will want to make life difficult for their visitors for as long as possible, but Portugal will be hard to stop in Glasgow. We fancy the away side to pick up a win at Hampden on Sunday and make their class tell.

A Win and a Clean Sheet for Portugal

Seven of Portugal’s last eight wins have come with clean sheets, including in their last match against Italy. Without Griffiths, who has scored three goals in his last six games for Celtic, Scotland will do well to breach the away team’s defence. With that in mind, have a punt on Portugal to win to nil at very fair odds of 21/10.

Comfortable Margin of Victory for the Portuguese

Two of Portugal’s last five wins in all competitions have been comfortable 3-0 victories. The Portuguese beat Saudi Arabia 3-0 in a friendly back in November before seeing off Algeria by the same scoreline just before the World Cup in the summer. The 3-0 Portugal win this Sunday is available at the big price of 16/1 and certainly isn’t out of the question.

Away Side to Dominate in Glasgow

In truth, this is a game that the European champions should dominate from start to finish. Portugal have some top players, and we fancy Santo’s troops to be winning at half time and full time at 11/5.

Recent Matches

These two nations have not met often in recent years, with the last meeting coming way back in November 2002. Meanwhile, the last competitive match between the pair was a qualifier for the 1994 World Cup in the USA. That took place in April 1993 and Portugal won 5-0. Scotland have a poor record against the Portuguese, with their last win in this fixture coming in a European Championship qualifier over 38 years ago.

20th November 2002: Portugal 2 – 0 Scotland

The last match between Scotland and Portugal was an international friendly in Braga in 2002. Berti Vogts’ side failed to recover from two early Pauleta goals, going on to lose 2-0 in Portugal.

28th April 1993: Portugal 5 – 0 Scotland

Portugal ran riot in a 1994 World Cup qualifier in Lisbon 25 years ago. The Portuguese, who were managed by a young Carlos Queiroz at the time, beat the Scots 5-0 at the Estadio da Luz.

14th October 1992: Scotland 0 – 0 Portugal

A few months prior to that mauling in Lisbon, Andy Roxburgh’s Scotland held Portugal to a 0-0 draw at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. Both countries missed out on qualification to the 1994 World Cup in the States, with Italy and Switzerland going on to progress from Group 1.

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