The road to EURO 2024 gets underway this week, as teams begin their qualification campaign across the continent. Portugal will be the leading contender to top Group J, and they will have a comfortable opening matchup on Thursday when they take on Liechtenstein.
EURO 2024 Qualifier Preview
A new era gets underway in Portugal this week, as Roberto Martinez takes charge of Portugal for the first time in Lisbon. The former Belgium boss took over as the national team coach after Fernando Santos was dismissed after Portugal’s shock exit at the hands of Morocco in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. There were eyebrows raised when Martinez was appointed, as the former Everton boss was in charge of Belgium as they crashed out in the group stage in Qatar.
However, there’s little doubt that Portugal remain one of the standout nations in Europe, and few would be surprised to see them add to the EURO glory that they achieved in 2016. One of the biggest shock inclusions in the recently named squad was Cristiano Ronaldo, who many believed was on the cusp of announcing his international retirement following the dismissal of Santos.
Unsurprisingly, Liechtenstein will be among the outsiders to reach EURO 2024, as they have never previously competed at a major international tournament. In fact, in qualifiers since 1996, the nation has won just five matches from 68 fixtures. They also come into this qualifying campaign after having failed to win a single match in six Nations League fixtures in Division D last year.
Their most recent outing came in November, as they were beaten 2-0 away from home by Gibraltar. It would take a heroic effort on Thursday to see them picking up at least a point from this opening qualifying match in Portugal.
Portugal vs Liechtenstein Head to Head
There have been seven previous clashes between these two sides, with Liechtenstein yet to register a victory. Portugal has won on six previous occasions, including each of the previous two. Their most recent success came in the form of a 3-0 win in a friendly in August 2009.
Portugal vs Liechtenstein Prediction
This should be one of the more straightforward matches that Portugal will face in qualification. We expect them to run out comfortable winners in this first match under Martinez, and we could see Bruno Fernandes finding the net in a 3-0 win.
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