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  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
  • Last Update:
    01/17/2019 7:25 AM

World Cup 2010 Preview: Portugal

This is an article about soccer and the biggest sports tournament of the world: the world cup! Being my self Portuguese I just couldn't miss the Portuguese team, I'll make more articles I promise...

The Portuguese team is an outsider to win the World Cup and having Cristiano Ronaldo on the roster surely will give them some spotlight during the tournament.

In theory their offense is the strongest link of the team as players like Ronaldo, Nani, Simão Sabrosa or Deco have some international reputation however they have been struggle to score in the last 2 years! Strangely or not it is their defense that has performed in a high note and in my opinion the fault/merit of such strange correlation can be attributed to the national head coach Carlos Queiroz.

Nine clean sheets in the twelve qualifying matches say it all about their good defensive side. Queiroz took a gamble by using Real Madrid center-back Pepe in a holding role in front of the two center-backs (Carvalho and Alves in good physical shape are a terrific duo that combine aggressiveness and speed) and that simply worked out because Pepe has great speed and a good positioning and he does know how to advance in the field. Bottom line it will be tough to score against Portugal from the center of the field and/or by set pieces due to the presence of Pepe. The problem is that Pepe has not played a game since December and no one knows about his actual physical condition. His back-up Pedro Mendes is a good player but I really don’t think that Portugal can succeed with him. I also anticipate some problems in their left side of the defense as both Coentrao and Duda are converted wingers and obviously aren’t good at defending. However with Coentrao the Portuguese side gains a new dimension going forward in a similar way that Dani Alves/Maicon does for Brazil. 

On the offensive end this team will go as long Deco can carry them because besides him there’s no one left in the roster with the same/similar creativity at the playmaker position. All that Queiroz can do is to adapt another player (Tiago, Danny or Simão) but the productivity won’t be the same and Portugal will be a predictable team on the offense side.

However the biggest problem resides on their front 3 as Portugal plays with one striker and 2 wings-forwards. Any team in the world would fear Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani (Nani had a tremendous second half of the season with Man Utd) on the wings but in reality the Portuguese offense has struggle in the past couple of years. In my opinion their front 3 are way too far from each other in the field which makes the task of defending them easier. You can think them as being the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA because they run an immeasurable plays of isolations when they are attacking.

I think that Portugal have the weapons to make some damage in the World Cup however everything must go right for them. It is imperative that Cristiano Ronaldo scores in the first game or else he can turn into a frustrated and selfish player who wants badly to score.

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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