The games continue to come thick and fast from Qatar as the competition races through the group stages. With every game shown live on television and live streaming apps, there’s no reason to miss your favorites in action. Watch the play from the comfort of your home with friends, family, and fellow football fans, or catch the play when on the move using the best live streaming apps available on mobile. The game we will focus on in this article is Portugal v Ghana which is set for a 16:00 GMT kick-off on Thursday.
Portugal is one of the major sides in attendance, and most pundits, ex-players, and neutral football fans expect them to beat Ghana with plenty to spare. There are no easy games at this level, and the conditions help level the playing field a little. We have already watched Saudi Arabia fight back from 1-0 down to Argentina at half-time, only to roar back and go on to win the match. Nothing can be taken for granted in Qatar, and we are certain there will be plenty more upsets before the final is decided on Sunday, 18th December.
The history books show these teams have met only once when facing off at World Cup 2014. Portugal were the winners of that match thanks to a 2-1 scoreline. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning goal that day, finding the net in 80 minutes with the game locked at 1-1. It has already been a rollercoaster week for CR7, who left Manchester United by mutual consent. Will he make headlines with another goal and match-winning performance against Ghana? We certainly aren’t in a rush to write the attacker off in what will likely be his final World Cup.
Portugal aims for a strong start
Portugal has a strong chance of going far at this World Cup, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see them lift the trophy. Fernando Santos and his men are currently ranked number nine in the world by FIFA, and most pundits make that about right, placing Portugal just behind the early leaders, including Brazil, France, and England. Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia saw its popularity with neutrals take a hit, meaning Portugal has a chance to move into contention. Most followers remain unconvinced by Cristiano Ronaldo and co. A strong win over Ghana – which is possible – would help win over the doubters.
Ronaldo has been all over the newspapers this week, and it has nothing to do with his antics at the World Cup. This is expected to be the Portugal captain’s final World Cup, with 2026 in the United States, Canada, and Mexico likely to come too late in his career. That adds even more pressure to CR7, who would love to sign off with a World Cup win that would put any debate over him being the world’s best player to bed. But he will walk onto the pitch with a shadow hanging over his career in club football after being released by English Premier League side Manchester United. The move was reported as a mutual agreement after well-publicized breaks in the relationship between the player and the club at Old Trafford.
Portugal was last seen in action beating Nigeria on Thursday in a friendly. That was a game designed to keep the players fit and sharp while helping Santos decide his best eleven players. They won that match and did so in style, rushing to a 4-0 victory thanks to goals from Ramos and Mario, with Bruno Fernandes scoring two. They lost their last competitive match in the UEFA Nations League, 1-0 to Spain in Group A2, thanks to a late goal from Morata, who found the net with 88 minutes on the clock. If Portugal is near their best, they will consider themselves good enough to secure all three points in their opener.
Ghana loves an upset
Ghana arrives in Qatar without any pressure on its shoulders. This squad is talented – they were certainly good enough to make it this far when many supposed bigger sides failed – but not much is expected of them. Many pundits predict the Africans could bow out of the race after three group games, but nothing is set in stone. The underdogs won’t pay any attention to what’s said against them in the media or the predictions from fans of other nations. Ghana is here to do its bit, put on a show, and enjoy playing in a historic World Cup.
In the World Cup qualifying African section, Ghana won its pool ahead of South Africa, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. They returned stats of four wins, one draw, and a defeat, with seven goals scored and three conceded. When placing those numbers against the other African qualifiers, we note that Ghana was the lowest scorer, and that’s an element of their game they must improve. Ghana could have a disastrous World Cup if they cannot turn their chances into goals. But they have a clean slate, and that’s how the players approach game one.
Ghana played a friendly with Switzerland on the approach to Qatar and was excellent, running out 2-0 winners. They took a deserved lead in 70 minutes when Salisu broke the deadlock, and the game was over as a contest less than five minutes later when Semenyo added a second to finish the Swiss. That was a timely win and would’ve done wonders for their confidence.
Portugal v Ghana prediction
Portugal is the hot favorite to win this match, and if Ronaldo has his mind on the job, he will play a huge part and could be the difference in this game. Portugal has all the skill and flair, but in Ghana, they’ll meet a dogged and determined opponent that refuses to back down and is strong in defense.
World Cup odds
The pre-match betting odds available at 22bet has Portugal at 1.384 with Ghana 8.4 and the draw 4.74.
Make sure to bet on Portugal v Ghana with 22Bet!