Cristiano Ronaldo’s fury was palpable as he threw down the captain’s armband and stormed off the pitch last March.
Serbian defender, Stefan Mitrovic, had failed to prevent Ronaldo’s stoppage-time shot from crossing the line. Unfortunately for the Portuguese captain and the rest of his squad, the officials missed the goal, and the game finished in a stalemate.
If Portugal fails to qualify for the November tournament, that error will be what cost the Manchester United striker his final chance at a World Cup triumph.
Read on for our match preview as the Portuguese National Team face Turkey on Thursday here!
Portugal vs Turkey Head-to-Head
Portugal has played against Turkey in official matches 8 times. Over that period, Portugal have won 6 games and lost 2.
In their last five H2H fixtures, Portugal have won 4 times and lost just once to Turkey.
On the FIFA rankings, Portugal is currently the 8th-rated National team in the world while Turkey is 31 places behind in 39th place.
Portugal have been in decent form lately, the Iberian side have won 3 of their last 5 games, drawn one game and lost one. (Form: L-D-W-W-W)
Over that period, Turkey have a similar record, with three wins, one loss and one draw. (Form: W-W-W-D-L)
Portugal vs Turkey Team News
Ruben Dias, Renato Sanches and Ruben Neves are out injured while Joao Cancelo is suspended for Thursday’s game.
Goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes has also withdrawn from the squad and has been replaced by Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper, José Sá.
Veteran defender, Pepe tested for COVID-19 two days ago and will be replaced by Lille centre back, Tiago Djalo in the squad. Pepe is still important to the squad at his advanced age and will be a big miss.
Djalo, Jose Fonte and Turkish striker, Burak Yilmaz are teammates at club level. Their experience playing together should make up for Pepe’s absence. Their knowledge of how Yilmaz likes to play should also give Portugal an advantage.
Turkey have named a strong squad and will be hoping to take advantage of Portugal’s missing players to shock the bigger team and advance to the next round of the playoffs.
As usual, Cengiz Ünder and Hakan Çalhanoğlu will be expected to provide the creative spark the team needs and create chances for strikers, Enes Ünal and Burak Yilmaz.
Portugal vs Turkey Prediction
Portugal will be overwhelming favorites and they’re expected to progress to the next stage of the playoffs.
Turkey will look to emulate Serbia and will have noted how they attacked Portugal. Without first-choice centre back pairing, Ruben Dias and Pepe present, they will test the new-look defence as much as they can.
Our prediction: Portugal are at home and we expect them to win this one. Despite several notable absences, they still have Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota, Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix in attack.
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