On Tuesday night, the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup Qatar will be played when Portugal hosts North Macedonia in Group C’s final.
Portugal beat Turkey 3-1 in the semi-finals. North Macedonia defeated Italy in Palermo 1-0.
It is the first time that the two teams have met in competitive matches. In 2003, Portugal won a friendly match in Switzerland 1-0. The two teams also drew in 2012, 0-0.
North Macedonia is looking for another upset
Last week, North Macedonia had less possession of the ball than Italy and had more than 30 goals. They held off Italy’s attacks throughout, Stol Dimitrijski performing well in goal.
After missing the Italy match due to yellow card accumulation, Eljif Elmas will be freed and Tihomir Kolstadinov will be allowed to play in this game. Boban Nikolov (who started in Elmas’ place last week) was injured and will likely miss the match against Portugal.
North Macedonia won’t be able to score in the same game Aleksandar Trajkovski scored against Italy. It was his 20th goal in 75 games. Milan Ristovski has also been a starting striker and has only scored two goals in nine appearances. None of the other strikers on the bench have scored for their country.
Vice-captains Enis Bardhi, Elmas, and Elmas have nine goals each. Defender Ezgjan Alioski has 12 goals. Along with Alioski Darko Velkovski, Visar Musliu, and Alioski in the back four, Captain Stefan Ristovski is leading. The defense will be again under heavy pressure on Tuesday after last week’s defeat of Italy.
Portugal returns to attacking form
Portugal scored goals last week against Turkey from three different players: Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Otavio of Porto scored the first goal in his home match after rebounding a Bernardo Silva shot that hit the post. Diogo Jota scored the second goal with Otavio’s assist. Matheus Nunes scored in extra time for the final goal.
Portugal avoided a bullet when Turkey missed the penalty that would have evened the scores. They substituted Jose Sa or Rui Patricio in goal for Diogo Costa, 22 years old. He was able to hold his own and will likely start against North Macedonia.
Ronaldo may be his last chance at the World Cup, and Portugal’s highest heights. On Tuesday, the veteran goal scorer will be partnered with Jota and Ottavio. Fernandez as well as Joao Moutinho in support midfield.
Portugal gets Joao Cancelo from suspension back, and Pepe from COVID-19. While they will be without Ruben Dias, the team has no injuries and is still aiming to make it to the World Cup.
Portugal v North Macedonia. Let’s take look at the expected line-ups
Portugal has a line-up
Portugal is the favorite for this match, but that’s not surprising. They are the stronger team. After North Macedonia’s unexpected win over Italy, they have star players who can handle pressure. They will be prepared to not take any chances with their opponents.
Predicted XI – Costa, Dalot, Danilo, Guerrero, Silva, Moutinho, Fernandes, Jota, Ronaldo, Ottavio
North Macedonia predicted line-up
In many ways, North Macedonia is the neutral choice. They have done well to get here and have little chance of another shock. It will be believed by the North Macedonians.
Predicted line-up – Dimitrijevski, Arioski, Musliu, Velkovski, Ristovski, Baldech, Ademi, Nikolov, Churinov, Trajkovski, Ristovski
Analysis of betting on Portugal vs North Macedonia
Portugal is a popular betting choice on 1xbet. They scored over 2.5 goals in five out of six of Portugal’s games and seven out of eight of their last 8. North Macedonia has scored in four of the last five games, including a loss to Germany by 4-0. Go for over 2.5 goals and aim to score in this match.
Picks:over 2.5 goals