World Cup 2022 Team Preview - Portugal

Portugal's odds to win the World Cup

16/1

Best World Cup

3rd place 1966, 4th place 2006 

2018 World Cup

Second round

Portugal's World Cup Schedule

Date

Fixture

Location

24th November 4pm

Portugal v Ghana

Stadium 974, Doha

28th November  7pm

Portugal v Uruguay

Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail

2nd December 3pm

South Korea v Portugal

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Road to the Qatar

Portugal were unbeaten going into their final qualifying game (Won 5, Drew 2), and, at 1-1 going into the last minute of their final game with Serbia, it looked like their automatic spot was booked until Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the late winner that condemned Portugal to the playoffs. A comfortable 3-1 win over Turkey earned a final playoff berth against North Macedonia, who had unexpectedly knocked Italy out, and it was a much-relieved Portugal team that emerged as 2-0 winners.

Recent form

Portugal's recent Nations League campaign has highlighted the inconsistencies that left them requiring the playoffs to book their ticket to Qatar. Emphatic 4-0 wins at home to Switzerland and in the Czech Republic displayed their attacking prowess, but nagging deficiencies are never far from the surface, leading to a 1-0 defeat in Switzerland, while a late goal conceded in their final game at home to Spain cost them a place in next year's finals.

Portugal squad

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patricio (AS Roma), Jose Sa (Wolves)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Man City), Diogo Dalot (Man Utd), Ruben Dias (Man City), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Pepe (Porto), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Antonio Silva (Benfica)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Real Betis), Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd), Joao Mario (Benfica), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Matheus Nunes (Wolves), Otavio (Porto), Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Bernardo Silva (Man City), Vitinha (PSG)

Forwards: Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Ricardo Horta (SC Braga), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Goncalo Ramos (Benfica), Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Andre Silva (RB Leipzig)

Team insights

Probable formation:4-3-3 Portugal boss Fernando Santos has had eight years to settle on an orthodox 4-3-3 set-up that allows him to utilise his abundance of attacking talent to maximum effect, although the unfortunate absence of the injured Diogo Jota will force a reshuffle. Four years after his supposed World Cup swansong, Ronaldo remains Portugal's star name, although his legendary status up front sometimes overshadows the rest of Portugal's line-up. Qatar is set to be a perfect stage for the creative flair of Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva, both of whom have the quality to change a game in an instant, and Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho will be ready to step in given the chance. Further back, Joao Cancelo will not be shy about adding attacking width from full back, while it will be left to Ruben Dias and Danilo Pereira to organise things at the centre of an experienced back four.

World Cup prospects

Ronaldo will be hoping to sign off his World Cup in style, but it is difficult to see Portugal going right to the business end of this tournament. They have the capability to top Group H, but at the same time none of their three games is a given, and if they fail to finish top, then they might well be faced with a last-16 tie against Brazil. Best hope: Quarter-final (if they avoid Brazil).

Read more about each of Portugal's Group H opponents:

Uruguay, Ghana, South Korea