Portugal will take on Switzerland in the round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup competition on the 6th of November at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Portugal will be looking to bounce back from the defeat that they registered against South Korea in their previous game.
Switzerland, on the other hand, will be looking to make this game their second consecutive win in a row.
This game is crucial as a win for either side will send them to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. On that note, this article will look at three individual battles that could determine the outcome of this clash.
Without further ado, let's look at them.
#3 Cristiano Ronaldo vs Manuel Akanji
The Portuguese skipper is arguably one of the finest finishers in the footballing world and his attacking intuition is remarkable.
Ronaldo has not been at his best in the 2022 FIFA World Cup so far and has netted only one goal in the competition so far. But despite his inconsistency, his attacking threat is stunning. Affording him enough room in the box could be dangerous as his ability to convert all kinds of opportunities is outstanding. Monitoring Ronaldo's positioning in attack is a difficult task and Akanji will have his work cut out.
Akanji's defensive intuition has been remarkable as he has helped Switzerland in registering one clean sheet in the competition so far. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to keep Ronaldo under his tabs in this encounter.
#2 Breel Embolo vs Ruben Dias
Breel Embolo is one of Switzerland's most prolific finishers in the competition and has netted two goals in this year's edition of the World Cup competition.
The AS Monaco forward is sharp and his ability to make good use of the little pockets of space in the opposition’s penalty box is impressive. Giving Embolo the opportunity to explore in attack could be dangerous as he could use his strength in maneuvering defenders. Keeping an eye on Embolo's movement in the final third of the pitch is a tough task and one that Ruben Dias is ready to take on.
Dias has one clean sheet under his belt in this competition so far. Furthermore, his man-marking and defensive intuition has been outstanding. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to keep Embolo under his tabs.
#1 Bruno Fernandes vs Granit Xhaka
Bruno Fernandes is arguably Portugal's best-performing player in the Qatar 2022 World Cup competition so far and his vision for goal is immense.
The Manchester United midfielder has netted two goals and has registered two assists in the competition so far. Furthermore, his ability to create chances for his teammates is also outstanding. Monitoring Fernandes's movement in attack is a difficult task and is one that Xhaka is ready to take on.
However, Xhaka's ability to protect the back four and his defensive intuition has been outstanding. However, it will be interesting to see if he can keep Fernandes under his tabs in what could be termed the battle of the midfield.