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Serbia vs Portugal prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Portugal v Azerbaijan - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Portugal v Azerbaijan - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 25 Mar 2021
Preview

Both Serbia and Portugal are coming off hard-fought victories as they lock horns in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Saturday.

Alexander Mitrovic's second-half brace helped Serbia secure a thrilling victory over the Republic of Ireland in their opening FIFA World Cup qualifier. Dusan Tadic was in fine form for the Serbs, setting up all three of their goals on the night as they came from 1-0 down to secure a 3-2 victory.

Serbia did well to claw their way back into the game after the Republic of Ireland got off to a great start. They were slick with their passing and looked set to run away with the game as Alan Browne gave them the lead in the 18th minute of the game.

Vlahovic would then restore parity with a strike five minutes before half-time prior to Mitrovic's second-half brace which helped put the result beyond doubt.

The win is a major boost for Serbia as they will be hoping to battle Republic Ireland for a playoff spot. Meanwhile, Portugal produced a rather off-colour display but managed to get the better of Azerbaijan thanks to a fumble from Maksim Medvedev who put the ball in his own net after a mix-up with goalkeeper Shahrudin Mehemmedeliyev.

More than anything, Portugal's display reeked of rustiness. They had plenty of chances to extend their lead. However, they just couldn't find the back of the net. Bruno Fernandes was easily Portugal's best player yesterday and he kept the Azerbaijan defenders on their toes.

Portugal are favourites to be the toppers in Group A and this could very well be their toughest game in the group stage.

Serbia vs Portugal Head-to-Head

Serbia and Portugal have clashed six times till date. Serbia are yet to register a win over their Saturday opponents. Portugal have won thrice while three games have ended as draws.

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The last time these two sides met was in September 2019 and Portugal won the match 4-2.

Serbia form guide: D-W-D-D-W

Portugal form guide: D-W-L-W-W

Serbia vs Portugal Team News

Serbia

Serbia have no injury concerns going into Saturday's match. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Filip Kostic, who were rested against the Republic of Ireland, are expected to start the game.

Injuries: None

Doubtful: None

Suspensions: None

Portugal

Portugal will be without defenders Pepe and Raphael Guerreiro. Nuno Mendez is expected to start at left-back in Guerreiro's absence. Rui Patricio is also sidelined with an injury.

Both Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix came off the bench against Azerbaijan and are expected to start here. Danilo Pereira, who was absent midweek, is also expected to feature as are Diogo Jota and Joao Felix.

Injuries: Rui Patricio, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro

Doubtful: None

Suspensions: None

Serbia vs Portugal Predicted Lineups

Serbia Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Marko Dimitrovic; Strahinja Pavlovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Stefan Mitrovic; Darko Lazovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Sasa Lukic; Filip Kostic; Dusac Tadic; Dusan Vlahovic, Aleksandr Mitrovic

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Portugal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Anthony Lopes; Joao Cancelo, Domingos Duarte, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes; Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Joao Felix

Serbia vs Portugal Prediction

Portugal are the favourites to top their group. Serbia have a lot of quality in their ranks and they ought to play out of their skin on Saturday. But we expect Portugal to take all three points.

Prediction: Serbia 1-3 Portugal

Published 25 Mar 2021, 17:21 IST
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