Portugal will begin their World Cup campaign this Thursday when they play Ghana at the historic Stadium 974 in Doha.
Venue: Stadium 974 (Doha)
Portugal have just three wins from their last 13 matches at the World Cup finals (D5, L5).
They have failed to win their opening game in their last three World Cup finals (D2, L1).
Portugal have five clean sheets in their last ten games.
Ghana are playing in their fourth World Cup final.
The Black Stars have kept three clean sheets in their last five games.
They have progressed from the group stages in two of their three finals appearances.
Ghana have scored in nine of their 12 World Cup finals matches.
Head to head
Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 in 2014, the only meeting between both sides.
Latest performances in all competitions
It’s the last dance for Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal side, who will begin their quest for their first World Cup titles this Thursday against African giants Ghana.
Portugal are making their sixth successive World Cup campaign and eighth overall in Qatar but are yet to supersede the achievements of their very first crack at world football supremacy, with the bronze medal earned in 1966.
The European giants will hope their aspirations of success in Qatar won’t be cut short easily after their poor outing in the qualifiers. Fernando Santos’ men needed playoffs to book their place in Qatar, fending off North Macedonia and Turkey to make it to this tournament stage.
However, just three wins from their last 13 matches at the World Cup finals show little room for error (D5, L5). Santos will be emphasising the need for a fast start to Group H, which his side has failed to do in their last three World Cup editions (D2, L1).
Possible Portugal starting line-up
Diogo Costa, Joao Cancelo, Danilo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Rúben Neves, William Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Rafael Leão, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite just playing in three previous World Cups, Ghana are one of Africa’s most successful teams in this tournament.
The West African side boasts the joint-best finish by an African country in the competition’s history after their 2010 World Cup quarter-finals appearance when they narrowly missed out on semi-final qualification.
After missing out on the 2018 edition, they come to Qatar desperate for another crack at upsetting the apple cart in Group H. Having progressed from the group stages in two of their three finals appearances; you wouldn’t bet against the perennial underdogs doing so again.
The Black Stars can spring an upset on any given day, as they’ve shown to exude attacking confidence by scoring in nine of their 12 World Cup finals matches. They will have revenge on their mind here, too, as their last in this tournament was a 2-1 loss against Portugal in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Possible Ghana starting line-up
Lawrence Ati, Denis Odoi, Daniel Amartey, Alexander Djiku, Abdul-Rahman Baba, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, Thomas Partey, Kamal-Deen Sulemana, Mohammed Kudus, Jordan Ayew, Iñaki Williams.
|Portugal to win||Draw||Ghana to win|
Portugal 2-2 Ghana