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Portugal vs Croatia Prediction 8 June 2024

Portugal vs Croatia Prediction 8 June 2024

Portugal take on the visitors Croatia in a Friendly International match. The match will be played on Thursday, June 8th at Estádio Nacional do Jamor (Lisbon - Oeiras).

Portugal has long been dominating all opponents. The Seleção has, on the whole, been quite successful under Fernando Santos in recent years. It’s hard to label a World Cup quarterfinal exit as a failure! However, they lost to Morocco, with the experienced coach once again bringing on Ronaldo only as a substitute. This, combined with other factors, sealed the fate of the coach who had led Portugal to their triumphs at Euro 2016 and the inaugural Nations League. Fernando Santos was replaced by Roberto Martinez, who was predictably sacked from Belgium after their poor World Cup performance in Qatar. Martinez's tenure with Portugal began with complete dominance, as demonstrated in their qualifying group. They won all their matches, making them the only team to achieve such a result across all qualifying groups, and this was even with 10 rounds played. The winning streak continued with a 5-2 thrashing of Sweden in March. However, they suffered an unexpected 0-2 defeat in Slovenia afterward. They kicked off their summer campaign by hosting Finland, and although they allowed the Finns to come back with a Pukki double after scoring three goals, the match ultimately ended in a 4-2 victory for the favorites.

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Croatia began their journey under Zlatko Dalić somewhat unexpectedly. Today, he is a respected specialist, but when he was urgently appointed in 2017, he was out of work after leaving Al-Ain, with previous stints at other Middle Eastern clubs. Less than a year later, Zlatko led his compatriots to the greatest achievement in their history: reaching the World Cup final. In 2022, the Croatians added another set of medals, albeit of a lesser rank—bronze. The closest they came to a trophy was last summer when they reached the Nations League final and fought Spain on equal terms. However, La Roja proved to be slightly better in the penalty shootout. The only significant setback was last October, when the favorites unexpectedly lost to both Wales and Turkey, jeopardizing their direct ticket to the Euros. But subsequent victories and a slip-up by the Welsh ultimately secured the spot for Modrić and his teammates, although they finished with one point less than the Janissaries. In March, the team made a unique choice by arranging friendlies with North African teams. They ended up defeating Tunisia on penalties after a 0-0 draw in regular time and then beat Egypt 4-2 in regulation time. North Macedonia was easily defeated 3-0 at the start of this cycle.

The Seleção has won 5 times in regulation time and once in extra time at Euro 2016. The Checkered Ones have only managed one victory, which came in a friendly five years ago. The Seleção will understandably be the clear favorites at home. However, their opponents are capable of surprising and capitalizing on any underestimation, so it's safer to bet on total over 2.5 goals.

Prediction for the match: Over 2.5 scored goals.

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Dylan McLaughlin
Football tipster