Online sports gambling odds makers installed Spain as a prohibitive World Cup Football betting favorite to make the Final and break through as a world power.
Portugal will enter Tuesday’s match with an unimpressive resume and with plenty of self doubt as they did not inspire a lot of confidence with their lackadaisical Group G performance.
Portugal began FIFA World Cup action with a decidedly uninspiring 0-0 draw against the Ivory Coast. That was followed up with a 7-0 blowout win over North Korea in a complete and total mismatch. In their Group G finale Portugal played to another scoreless draw against powerful Brazil.
Portugal will enter their match with Spain with plenty of motivation, however, which could be a strong handicapping intangible. Spain went public in being quoted as saying that they were relieved to not have to be playing Brazil in the first portion of the knockout stage of the tournament which Portugal took as blatant disrespect.
“We want to go out there and cause Spain at least as many difficulties as the Brazilians would have done,” said winger Simao Sabrosa of Portugal. “Maybe even more.”
This was in response to when Spain’s Gerard Pique said that it was “fundamental to avoid teams like Brazil.”
While Simao did admit that he understood the rationale of Spain he also said that, “let’s not forget that we are also a very strong team.”
Portugal has had their share of recent World Cup success as they finished 4th in the 2006 World Cup that took place in Germany.
Of critical importance to Portugal’s chances of pulling off the upset will be the return of Deco, who is one of the top playmakers in the world. This is especially important since Portugal winger Danny is likely going to miss the match after he bruised his leg in the Group G finale.
Simao has been instrumental at trying to rally Portugal’s confidence with his defiant attitude.
“Without showing them (Spain) a lack of respect, we’re not scared at all,” said Simao. “They’re champions of Europe but we have our own qualities.”
Tiago leads Portugal so far with 2 goals while Eduardo has been perfect in goal.