Portugal vs Turkey | Match Info, Preview & Lineup

Portugal and Turkey both aim to get one step closer to 2022 World Cup qualification when they battle it out in Thursday's playoff semifinals at the Estadio do Dragao.

Fernando Santos' men were forced to drop into the playoffs after finishing second in Group A, while Turkey finished runners-up to the Netherlands in Group G.

Portugal fans couldn't forget Aleksandar Mitrovic's name quickly enough, as Euro 2016 champions and Serbia equalized 1-1 in their last group meeting, the Fulham striker dramatically headed home in the 90th minute to send his side into the final.

The goalless stalemate with the Republic of Ireland three days before that 2-1 defeat also proved costly in Portugal's bid to secure a modest route to Qatar, with Santos' side now in real risk of failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time. since 1998.

A potential encounter with Italy in the playoff final could overtake Portugal – assuming that the European champions can navigate their way past North Macedonia in the other semifinal of Path C – meaning that at least one of Europe's two heavyweights will be watching from home later this year.

A record 17 points and a +11 goal difference mean that Portugal have the best group record of any UEFA nation in the playoffs, but defeat to Serbia at the Estadio da Luz marked their first home defeat in a World Cup Qualifier since 2008.

However, Santos' side had won 10 games at home in qualifying before Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic put them ahead in November, although their forthcoming opponents have enjoyed a sizeable comeback since their defeat at Euro 2020.

Despite picking up maximum points from their last three group stage matches, it was too late for Turkey to beat the Netherlands at the top of Group G, as Stefan Kuntz's side are seeking only their third appearance at the World Cup finals.

Since being knocked out of Euro 2020 without a single point to their name, the Crescent-Stars have suffered just one loss in seven games since – although it was a humbling 6-1 at the hands of the Netherlands – and they are marching towards back-to-back wins over Latvia, Gibraltar. and Montenegro to complete Group G.

Not since collecting a bronze medal at the 2002 tournament have Turkey showered their trade at the World Cup finals, and Kuntz's team face an uphill battle to end a torturous 20-year wait here, with the talent in their ranks not really building on a consistent basis. base.

Portugal vs Turkey 
Match Info
Date25 Mar 2022
Time1:15 AM IST 🇮🇳
StadiumDo Dragao
LeagueWorld Cup Qualifcation

🇵🇹 Portugal XI: Diogo Costa; Dalot, Fonte, Danilo Pereira, Guerreiro; Bernardo Silva, Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes; Otávio, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota

🇹🇷 Turkey XI: Çakir; Kabak, Söyüncü, Demiral, Kutlu; Çelik, Kökçü, Çalhanoglu, Akturoglu; Cengiz Ünder; Yilmaz

🔴 FT : Portugal | 3 - 1 | Turkey

15' | 1 - 0 | Otavio
42' | 2 - 0 | Diogo Jota
65' | 2 - 1 | Burak Yilmaz
90+4' | 3 - 1 | Matheus Luiz

Furthermore, only Gibraltar (43) have conceded more goals than Turkey (16) in Group G, although they have scored in every 2022 World Cup Qualifying game so far and may like their chances against a side running low. Portuguese defense.

However, this week's hosts have won six of their eight meetings with Turkey over the years, but the last clash between the two sides in 2012 ended in a 3-1 friendly win for Crescent-Stars, with Umut Bulut. on the scoreboard twice.

Already without the injured Ruben Dias and suspended Joao Cancelo, Portugal's defense has been hit again with news that Pepe has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be sidelined.

Ruben Neves was also forced to withdraw through injury and was replaced by Vitinha, while fellow Wolverhampton player Jose Sa replaced the injured Anthony Lopes.

Renato Sanches is also suspended for this match but remains with a thigh problem, and Santos will likely be forced to hand over their debut to Tiago Djalo or Goncalo Inacio in defense alongside Jose Fonte.

As for Turkey, Kuntz has no suspension issues to work on and will welcome Mert Muldur back from the ban awarded in the Montenegro win, although Zeki Celik is still hoping to get the nod at right-back.

Celik will be hoping to join Caglar Soyuncu and Merih Demiral in the visitors' defence, as 30-goal striker Burak Yilmaz is shouldering the goalscoring burden at the age of 36.

Kerem Akturkoglu has shone for Galatasaray this season and should have outscored Baris Yilmaz as a starter on the left, but Orkun Kokcu came off the bench to score the winner against Montenegro last time out and could get into Kuntz's mind with the returning Cengiz Under.

Portugal vs Turkey Player Prediction

Portugal : Patricio; Cedric, Fonte, Ignacio, Warrior; Moutinho, Pereira, Fernandes; B. Silva, Ronaldo, Jota

Turkic: Cakir; Celik, Soyuncu, Demiral, Erkin; Under, Calhanoglu, Antalyali, Akturoglu; Yilmaz, Yazici