The Euro 2016 champions look to make an impression in these Portugal vs. Ghana predictions. The Black Stars may be underdogs but, with plenty of emerging talent, they could provide a tough match for Fernando Santos’ side.
Portugal vs. Ghana odds
1 – Portugal to win – 4/9
3 – Only one team to score – 4/6
4 – Under 2.5 goals scored – 17/20
5 – Inaki Williams to score anytime – 8/1
Portugal get their World Cup campaign underway on Thursday as they take on Ghana at Stadium 974 in Doha. Fernando Santos’ side have struggled to live up to their 2016 European Championship success but have an interesting blend of youth and experience going into this tournament.
Achieving balance in his squad has long been an issue for the Portugal manager, with a number of world-class, attack-minded players potentially exposing the side. The nation’s talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, will dominate headlines ahead of Thursday’s match for the wrong reasons following a falling out with Manchester United. However, we back the captain to return to what he does best and score Portugal’s opener against Ghana.
Interestingly, over the last five games, the selecao have either kept a clean sheet or failed to score completely. Therefore, a bet on only one team to score at Stadium 974 could well pay off on Thursday.
The Black Stars are the lowest ranked team in the tournament but received a significant boost over the summer as a number of top players committed themselves to the national team. The addition of Inaki Williams, in particular, should aid Otto Addo’s cause given his team’s primary struggle has been goalscoring. The forward may not have had long to integrate with his teammates but could be an interesting punt to score anytime.
Ghana’s main strength in recent years has been their back line. The likes of Leicester’s Daniel Amartey and Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu are extremely confident in a low-block and a bet on under 2.5 goals scored may be a winner on Thursday.
How to stream Portugal vs. Ghana
Watch Portugal vs. Ghana live on Monday afternoon on BBC One or online through the BBC iPlayer website or app.
Portugal vs. Ghana last five matches
Portugal last five matches
Portugal 0-1 Spain
Czech Republic 0-4 Portugal
Switzerland 1-0 Portugal
Portugal 2-0 Czech Republic
Portugal 4-0 Switzerland
Ghana last five matches
Nicaragua 0–1 Ghana
Brazil 2-0 Ghana
Nigeria 2-0 Ghana
Ghana 2-0 Nigeria
Benin 0-1 Ghana
Portugal top World Cup qualification goalscorers
Bruno Fernandes – 3
Joao Palhinha – 2
Otavio – 1
Ghana top World Cup qualification goalscorers
Thomas Partey – 3
Andre Ayew – 3
Mubarak Wakaso – 1
Mohammed Kudus – 1
Portugal vs. Ghana line-ups
Ghana (4-2-3-1) Ati-Zigi; Lamptey, Salisu, Amartey, Rahman; Partey, Idrissu; Ayew, Kudus, Sulemana; Williams
Portugal team news
The big question for Fernando Santos is whether Cristiano Ronaldo will start Portugal’s opening game or if the forward will make way for a younger face. Without the injured Diogo Jota, Rafael Leao is expected to start out wide, while Danilo Pereira could be used at centre-back over the veteran Pepe.
Ghana team news
The Ghanaian squad received a boost over the summer with the likes of Tariq Lamptey and Inaki Williams declaring their allegiance. Both are likely to be integrated into the starting XI but first-choice goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott has been ruled out through injury. Jeffrey Schlupp, Felix Afena-Gyan and Emmanuel Gyasi have all been left out by new manager Otto Addo.