Portugal takes on Switzerland in their round of sixteen clash on Tuesday night and they will be hoping to book their place in the quarter-finals with a win.

Fernando Santos’ men are coming into this game on the back of a narrow defeat against Korea Republic in their last group game and they will be hoping to bounce back strongly in their next game.

Cristiano Ronaldo and co. will be the favourite heading into this game but they cannot afford to underestimate a buoyant Switzerland side.

Meanwhile, the Swiss have lost just once in the group stages against Brazil and they managed to beat the likes of Cameroon and Serbia.

Switzerland did put on an impressive show against Brazil as well and they will look to give Portugal a run for their money.

Despite their wins in the first two games, Portugal have not been at their best in the tournament and they will need to buck up in order to get through to the next round.

Team News and Tactics

Portugal

Nuno Mendes and Danilo are the only injury worries for Portugal ahead of this game. Santos will be able to pick his first-choice line-up against Switzerland.

Diogo Costa is set to start in goal behind a back four of Joao Cancelo, Pepe, Ruben Neves and Raphael Guerreiro. The two full-backs will be crucial to Portugal’s chance creation.

The Portuguese are expected to set up in a 4-3-1-2 with the midfield three being Ruben Neves, William Carvalho and Bernardo Silva. The Manchester City star will be expected to add creativity and drive the team forward.

Bruno Fernandes will start in the hole, behind a front two of Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix.

Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Costa; Cancelo, Pepe. Neves, Guerreiro; Silva, Carvalho, Neves; Fernandes; Felix, Ronaldo

Switzerland

Switzerland do not have any notable injury concerns ahead of this game. Yann Sommer and Nico Elvedi have returned from illness.

The Swiss are expected to shape up in a 4-2-3-1 with Yann Sommer in goal.

Silvan Widmer will start as the right back with Ricardo Rodriguez as the left back. Manuel Akanji will partner Nico Elvedi at the heart of Switzerland’s defence.

Remo Freuler will partner Granit Xhaka in the midfield pivot. Xhaka will be expected to initiate counters with his long passing and drive the team forward. Freuler will sit back and break the play up.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Ruben Vargas will start out wide and Djibril Sow will lineup as the attacking midfielder.

In the attack, Breel Embolo will lead the line for his side

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo

Key Stats

  • There have been 25 meetings between the two nations. Portugal have won nine while Switzerland have won 11. The other five matches have ended in draws.
  • Portugal have now made it to the last 16 of the World Cup for the third time in their last four appearances.
  • Portugal have been winning at both half-time and full-time in their last 3 home matches against Switzerland in all competitions.
  • Portugal have won their last 3 home matches against Switzerland in all competitions.
  • Portugal have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 home matches against Switzerland in all competitions.

Player to watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese star has not been at his best in the World Cup so far. He struggled against South Korea in the last game. He will be raring to make his mark in the knockout rounds.

Ronaldo remains one of the best goalscorers of his generation and he could get chances against a vulnerable Swiss defence. The former Manchester United star could produce a defining performance here.

Prediction

Portugal 2-1 Switzerland

Portugal are the better team here and they should be able to grind out the win.

Switzerland have shown that they are no pushovers and the Portuguese side will have to work hard for a positive result.

A close contest is on the cards but a narrow Portuguese win should be possible. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Portugal.

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