Portugal v Austria
Sunday June 19, 5:00am
Portugal were forced to settle for a 1-1 in their opening game against Iceland, despite dominating the match and Austria were similarly left disappointed as they were beaten 2-0 by Hungary and reduced to 10 men after 66 minutes. As a result, the Austrians are left with it all to do to qualify, having been fancied by many as outsiders for the tournament itself.
Portugal’s failure to beat Iceland means they haven’t recorded a victory in their opening game of a tournament since Euro 2008, but in the second game of tournaments they’re much better, having won eight of nine unbeaten games since Euro 1996. Their record when playing sides they’re ranked higher than but are in the world’s top-30 is W7-D2-L2 since 2013 as they kept a clean sheet in seven of these matches, including six 1-0 wins.
Though Austria were reduced to 10 men against Hungary, that was after they went behind and in truth with the exception of David Alaba’s early effort, they caused the Hungarians few problems. That defeat was their fourth in their last six matches and they’ve only managed one clean sheet in their last nine. When playing sides that are ranked above them and in the world’s top-20, Austria are W3-D1-L11 since 2010, though they only failed to score in four of these matches.
Portugal’s impressive record in the second game of tournaments, together with their strong record and Austria’s struggles against relevant opposition type means that Fernando Santos’ men look a solid bet in this one at 1.85. Given how short of ideas Austria looked going forward against Hungary, the win to nil is worth consideration at 2.9, but since Portugal have only scored more than twice in two of their last 13 games, the win and Under 2.5 goals looks a better option at 3.8.
BACK – Portugal to Win at 1.85