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5 reasons Portugal will beat North Macedonia and advance to the World Cup

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5 reasons Portugal will beat North Macedonia and advance to the World Cup

Portugal needs to get past North Macedonia’s obstacles to advance to the 2022 World Cup finals. The two teams will meet in the Euro zone 2022 World Cup Qualification Play-off final, Wednesday (30/3/2022).

This match is crucial for both teams. Only one will qualify for the finals in Qatar. Portugal or North Macedonia?

In the semifinals of Path C, Portugal beat Turkey. Cristiano Ronaldo and his friends overthrew Turkey 3-1 at the Estadio do Dragao. They won through goals from Otavio, Diogo Jota, and Matheus Nunes.

Meanwhile, North Macedonia created a surprise at Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo. They defeated four-time world champions Italy by a score of 1-0. Aleksandar Trajkovski’s injury time goal knocked out Gli Azzurri.

On paper, Portugal is superior in all respects to the opposing team. However, North Macedonia proved to be able to frustrate Italy with a neat and layered defense.

Even so, Fernando Santos’ troops are still favored because of many supporting factors. There are at least 5 reasons Portugal will beat North Macedonia and proceed to the 2022 World Cup, what are they?

It is undeniable, the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo in the team automatically boosts the mentality of the players. Ronaldo will lead his teammates on the pitch.

In the last semifinal, the Manchester United striker couldn’t do much and failed to score. Even so, Ronaldo is still Ronaldo.

His presence on the field is enough to keep the opposing defender busy. Thus, other players can take advantage of the gap to score goals.

Talking about the quality of players, Portugal excels in every position on the field, from goalkeeper to striker. The superior quality of these players should be enough to make Portugal more confident.

They have Diogo Jota, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva in attack All three can score goals, it doesn’t just depend on Ronaldo

 

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Portugal’s only problem is at the back due to the absence of defenders, such as Pepe, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo. In addition, Portugal did not face any significant problems.

Noted, Portugal has never failed in qualifying for a top tournament since 1998. That slick record should be maintained until 2022.

The quality of the current Portugal team has also been proven when they won Euro 2016. Not much change in the team, not much different strengths.

Even so, Fernando Santos has made it clear that his team will face North Macedonia with the highest respect.

Portugal was actually lucky enough to qualify for the play-off final this time. In the semifinals ago, they did not play well despite winning 3-1 over Turkey.

Portugal‘s engine does not seem hot in that game. The absence of core players also has an impact on team play.

Even so, luck proved to be still in favor of Portugal. So there is a possibility that the same luck will overshadow Ronaldo et al

Fernando Santos seems to be warning his squad to keep full focus on the match later. Portugal should not underestimate the opponent.

Santos insists that the final is always more difficult. His team will have high respect for the opponent.

“This is a final and finals are always very difficult. I’ve been involved in a lot of finals, so I know what I mean,” said Santos.

“We will go into this match with the same respect we showed against Turkey.”

 

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