There are just four teams remaining in the battle to see who will become the first ever UEFA Nations League champion this weekend. Switzerland and Portugal will square off in the first semifinal this Wednesday...
- Date & Time
- June 5th, 2019 2:45pm
- Estadio de Dragao, Porto, Portugal
- Media Coverage
- ESPN2, Univision
There are just four teams remaining in the battle to see who will become the first ever UEFA Nations League champion this weekend. Switzerland and Portugal will square off in the first semifinal this Wednesday, while England and the Netherlands will take the field on Thursday to determine who will meet that winner for a piece of silverware. Portugal are the favorites to win it all as the hosts of the competition, and they are seen to have an easier path to the final. Switzerland have already turned the conventional wisdom on its head once before though, and they would love to do it again.
Portugal vs. Switzerland
UEFA Nations League Odds
Switzerland are the most surprising team to make it to this point. The Swiss were placed in a group with Belgium and Iceland, and many believed that second place was the probable outcome. That proved apt through the first three games of the group stage as Belgium ran off three straight wins, so the Swiss needed a big win against Belgium on the last day to advance. Things started off disastrously as Thorgan Hazard notched a brace inside of 17 minutes to put Belgium up 2-0, but the Swiss were able to respond and then some. Haris Seferovic bagged a hat trick and two other scored to give Switzerland a 5-2 win. That put them through to the semifinals.
Portugal had a much easier time getting to the semifinals. The Portuguese set themselves up nicely with wins over Italy and Poland in their first two matches, and they needed just a result against Italy in their third match to advance. Getting a result at the San Siro wasn’t easy, but Portugal did hold off the Italians for the match to finish level at 0.
Switzerland Player to Watch
If the Swiss are to make the finals, Granit Xhaka likely has to have a solid game in the midfield. Xhaka is the best defensive midfielder on the roster, and he is known for his ability to break up attacks. He plays a very physical style that can run him afoul of officials, but it’s that tendency to play on a knife’s edge that makes his game so strong.
Portugal Player to Watch
Andre Silva was fantastic during the group stage for Portugal. The Portuguese did not have Cristiano Ronaldo for any of their four matches, so they relied on Silva to create up front. He did just that and then some with three goals in four games to spur Portugal onto the UEFA Nations League Finals.
He will need to pull himself out of a months-long slump to have an impact. Silva came over to Sevilla this season and lit La Liga aflame with seven goals in his first seven matches. However, he has not scored for club or country since January.
Portugal vs Switzerland Betting Prediction
The Portuguese will not have defensive midfielder Danilo Pereira for this match. Pereira earned a red card against Poland in Portugal’s final match of the group stage so he is serving a suspension.
I love the under here. Portugal are no longer a team that relies on the attack. The Portuguese won the 2016 Euros on the strength of their defense, and that is what they will rely on again here. In their run to their first European championship, they allowed just one goal, shutting out Croatia, Wales, and France in 90 minutes. Switzerland are not a team that will have a lot of offensive success as they mainly thrive on the counter, and those chances will be scarce.