Azerbaijan are set to play Portugal at the Baku Olympic Stadium on Tuesday for a FIFA World Cup qualifying game.
Azerbaijan come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland yesterday. A goal from Neftchi Baku midfielder Emin Mahmudov for Azerbaijan was cancelled out by a late second-half equalizer from Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Shane Duffy for the Republic of Ireland.
Portugal, on the other hand, beat Felix Sanchez’s Qatar 3-1 yesterday. Goals from RB Leipzig striker Andre Silva, Porto midfielder Otavio and Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes ensured victory for Fernando Santos’ Portugal. Al-Sadd left-back Abdelkarim Hassan scored the consolation goal for Qatar, who had Al-Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham and Al-Sadd centre-back Boualem Khoukhi sent off.
Azerbaijan vs Portugal Head-to-Head
In seven head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Portugal hold the clear advantage, having won six games and drawn one.
The two countries last faced each other earlier this year, with Portugal beating Azerbaijan 1-0 courtesy of a first-half own goal from Qarabag right-back Maksim Medvedev.
Azerbaijan form guide: D-L-L-W-L
Portugal form guide: W-W-L-D-L
Azerbaijan vs Portugal Team News
Azerbaijan manager Gianni De Biasi has named experienced players like Qarabag right-back Maksim Medvedev and midfielder Gara Garayev in the squad. Zira left-back Tamkin Khalilzade, Bursaspor midfielder Namik Alaskarov and Legia Warsaw striker Mahir Emreli have also been included.
Meanwhile, Portugal manager Fernando Santos has a lot of options to choose from. The Wolverhampton Wanderers quartet of Nelson Semedo, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves and Francisco Trincao have been included. Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias, Borussia Dortmund left-back Raphael Guerreiro, Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Liverpool attacker Diogo Jota have been named as well.
There could be a potential debut for young Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.
Azerbaijan vs Portugal Predicted XI
Azerbaijan Predicted XI (4-3-3): Shahrudin Mahammadaliyev, Maksim Medvedev, Elvin Badalov, Hojjat Haghverdi, Anton Krivotsyuk, Emin Mahmudov, Gara Garayev, Toral Bayramov, Namik Alaskarov, Mahir Emreli, Filip Ozobic
Portugal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Rui Patricio, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Palhinha, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva, Diogo Jota
Azerbaijan vs Portugal Prediction
Azerbaijan are still developing as a football nation, and will be the underdogs against Portugal. They have some experienced campaigners, and a positive performance against world-class opponents will certainly be good for their confidence.
Portugal, on the other hand, have talent in every position, but there are questions as to whether Fernando Santos is the right man to manage the current crop of players. Santos did lead his country to Euros success in 2016, but a timid Euro 2020 campaign has increased the pressure on him.
Portugal will be the favourites to win this game.
Prediction: Azerbaijan 0-3 Portugal
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