Russia vs Portugal

The2017FIFAConfederationsCuphostsRussiawelcomeEuropeanchampionsPortugalatOtkrytiyeArenainMoscowlookingtomaintaincontroloverGroupAafterbeatingNewZealandinthefirstround。

Portugal,ontheotherside,failedvictimstolackofcomposureincrucialmomentsagainstMexicoandwillbedesperatetowin。

BiggesttestforRussia

ConfederationsCupandWorldCuphostsRussiacannotaffordtotakeanythingforgrantedagainstthereigningEuropeanchampionsPortugal。

Thehostingnationisenduringplentyofpressurefromthepublicaheadofthemain-stageeventnextyearandStanislavCherchesov’smenareexpectedtoraisetheleveloftheirgameatthefinaltestbeforetheWorldCupnextyear。

CherchesovshouldbegivencreditfortransformingRussiaintoatightly-packedunit,butplentyofworkisstillaheadofthemanagerwhowillbelookingtoimprovehisteam’sfinish。

RussiadidmanagetobeatNewZealandintheiropeningmatchatthetournament,buttheSbornayaKomandamissedahostofgoalchancesagainstaninferioropponentandwerefortunateenoughtogoupfrontthankstoanowngoalfromBoxall。

LocalmediafavouriteFedorSmolovscoredthesecondgoalforRussialasttimeoutandhewillbeexpectedtocontinuehisfinescoringform。

SmolovisexpectedtocontinuetospearheadtheattackforRussia,whilePolozcouldsurrenderhisstartingberthtoBukharov。

StanislavCherchesovisnotexpectedtomakebiggerchangestohisline-up。

Rotatingsquad

RussiaandPortugalheadintotheWednesday’smatchlookingatitfromdifferentperspectives。

It’sbeenalongseasonfortheEuropeanchampionswhohavetheireyesontheplaceintheWorldCup2018andFernandoSantoshasalreadyannouncedheintendedtorotatehissquadthroughouttheConfederationsCup。

WithRealMadridsuperstarleadingtheway,Portugalboastquitealotofattackingpotential。

RonaldowasoneofthemostprominentplayersinhisteamonceagainasheassistedQuaresmafortheopenerandmadeitveryhardforMexicotorelaxthroughoutthematch。

itisPortugal’sdefensivefrailtiesthatarethemajorcauseforconcernaheadoftheRussiamatchhowever。

PortugalconcededtwolategoalsineachhalfagainstMexico,bothofwhichcameafterdefensiveerrorsandpoorpositioning。

ThisaspectofPortugal’splayissomethingSantosisexpectedtoaddressassoonaspossible,beforeit’stoolate。

GelsonMartinsandNelsonSemedocouldallfigureinFernandoSantos’startingeleven,whereasAndreSilvaisalsopushingforastartingberth。

Verdict

Russiahavemotivationontheirside,butthepressureaswellanditwillbeinterestingtoseeifthe2018FIFAWorldCuphostshavewhatittakestobringdowntheEuropeantitleholders。

Portugalaregettingtiredfromabusyseason,buttheywillhavetoputinamuchmoreimproveddefensiveperformanceiftheyaretograbapositiveresultagainstRussia。

Toppick:Bothteamstoscore–yes?

2。

00(1/1)@Betfair

Alternativepick1:Under2。

5goals?

1。

72(13/18)@188bet

Alternativepick2:Draw?

3。

5(5/2)@Bet365

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