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Slovakia vs Portugal Preview, Tips & Stats

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        • (43') Bruno Fernandes
        • (35') I. Schranz
        • (53') O. Duda
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        • (62') Cristiano Ronaldo

            Slovakia vs Portugal Preview, Tips & Stats

            Portugal travel to the Tehelne Pole to face Slovakia in the fifth round of the UEFA Euro Qualifiers. Both sides occupy the top two spots in the group with a comfortable gap to outside the qualification spots, however, both will push for the win to push them closer to official qualification.

            Slovakia sit second in Group J after four games. With three wins and one draw, Slovakia have ten points to their name, two points away from Portugal. Though Slovakia do have a three point buffer to Luxembourg, they also have a much worse goal difference than Portugal having only scored five goals.

            Luxembourg were the first opponents for Slovakia for this qualifying campaign. Despite having 18 shots, with three on target, Slovakia and Luxembourg played out a 0 - 0 draw. Next was a visit from Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Slovakia grabbed the win despite having less possession. Goals from Robert Mak and Lukas Haraslin gave Slovakia the 2 - 0 win. Slovakia’s second win came against Iceland on match day three. Juraj Kucka opened the scoring for Slovakia in the first half but an Alfreo Finnbogason penalty before halftime meant the teams were tied at the half. However, Tomas Suslov scored in the 69th minute to grab the 2 - 1 win for Slovakia.

            The last action for Slovakia was a trip to Liechtenstein. With 77% of the possession, Denis Vavro grabbed a goal in added time of the first half for the 1 - 0 win.

            Portugal currently sit top of Group J with four wins in four games and 12 points. Portugal are two points clear of second place Slovakia, but their goal difference is what truly sets them apart, having scored 14 goals and conceded zero.

            After a disappointing exit from the World Cup, Portugal faced Liechtenstein first in the group. Joao Cancelo scored first in the eighth minute to give Portugal the lead going into halftime. Bernardo Silva scored in the 47th minute and then Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty and scored another to give Portugal the 4 - 0 win. The trip to Luxembourg was also a goalfest for Portugal. Ronaldo bagged another brace, along with goals from Joao Felix, Silva, Otavio and Rafael Leao to take home a convincing 6 - 0 win. Bruno Fernandes was the man with the brace this time as his two goals and a goal from Silva gave Portugal the 3 - 0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            Last time out for Portugal was a win against ten man Iceland. Willum Willumsson was sent off in the 80th minute for Iceland as Ronaldo popped up with another winning goal for Portugal in the 89th minute for the 1 - 0 win.

            Slovakia and Portugal have met just four times in their histories, the first coming back in 1998 and the most recent meeting being in 2005. Portugal have won on three occasions and the two sides have drawn once. Based on how the group looks, this may be the closest they have been in skill, but Portugal are likely to still take the win.

            Slovakia Team News

            Slovakia head coach has used a 4 - 3 - 3 formation frequently in his short time at Slovakia. This usually entails Robert Polievka as starting centre forward, having already scored three goals for his club side this season, and Robert Mak and Lukas Haraslin on the wing in support.

            Portugal Team News

            Roberto Martinez takes charge of his fifth game for Portugal and still has a whole haul of talent to choose from. Despite no longer playing in Europe, Ronaldo is still likely the first name on the team sheet for Martinez, along with Manchester City’s Ruben Dias and Silva and Manchester United’s Fernandes.