Bosnia host Portugal on Monday evening, in a fixture that the visitors are favourites to win. It was a Bruno Fernandes masterclass when the two nations faced in June, as he scored twice and registered an assist, with his nation winning 3-0.
Bosnia are currently in fourth place after seven games in Group J. Savo Milosevic’s side have picked up nine points, however six of those came from their two narrow wins over bottom place Liechtenstein, who scored their only goal in qualification against Bosnia. Zmajevi have found it difficult to convert their chances this qualifying campaign, they’ve scored in just three of the seven games thus far, which has mainly been due to poor finishing, rather than a lack of creativity.
Last time out, Bosnia travelled to Liechtenstein, where they picked up a 2-0 victory. The visitors dominated the tie as expected and they opened the scoring in the 13th minute via Amar Rahmanovic. Miroslav Stevanovic doubled the lead just before half time. Bosnia were not tested at the back and Liechtenstein only had two attempts at goal, but the same old story regarding Bosnia’s lack of clinical edge haunted them once again.
Roberto Martinez’s side are one of two sides to have won every single qualifying game so far, which already puts them nine points clear of second place, Slovakia, with 21 points. The boss has found the perfect balance between attacking threat and defensive security, as Portugal have scored 27 and only conceded twice. Manchester United’s, Bruno Fernandes, has been their star player, registering 11 goal contributions in just seven matches.
Before this week’s match versus Slovakia, Portugal hadn’t conceded yet in Group J, which underlines just how strong they are as a defensive unit. Martinez’s team took an early two goal lead, thanks to Goncalo Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal became slightly complacent in the second half and Slovakia netted twice, either side of Ronaldo’s second goal. The final score was 3-2.
Portugal have looked unstoppable and I expect them to continue their winning streak against Bosnia on Monday. The hosts poor attacking record, combined with Portugal’s solid defence, means that the chance of Bosnia netting more than once is unlikely.
The final prediction is Bosnia 0-2 Portugal.