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Frapapa Blog > Blog > Frapapa Tips > Title: Slovakia vs. Portugal: Euro Qualifier Preview & Prediction

Title: Slovakia vs. Portugal: Euro Qualifier Preview & Prediction

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This Friday night, Slovakia is set to host Portugal in a pivotal Group J clash of the Euro 2024 qualifying tournament, creating a top-of-the-table showdown.

Despite being just two points behind their more highly-regarded opponents, Slovakia has the opportunity to surpass them with a maximum points haul this week. Roberto Martinez’s team has had a flawless start, securing all 12 available points.

Slovakia, a team that reached the round of 16 in 2016 and participated in the group stage of the postponed 2020 competition, is solidifying its position in the top two of Group J as expected. Slovakia aims for a third consecutive appearance at the European Championship finals.

Slovakia enters the match in great shape with an impressive seven-game unbeaten streak. The Falcons have also kept clean sheets in each of their previous four European qualifying games, although they haven’t managed a four-game winning streak in all competitions since 2015.

When Fernando Santos, the Euro 2016 champion coach, left for Poland, Portugal’s manager Roberto Martinez had big shoes to fill. However, the former Everton and Belgium head coach couldn’t have asked for a better start to his tenure in the dugout. Portugal has collected 12 points and scored 14 goals in their first four games against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and Iceland. They have also maintained a solid defence, keeping four clean sheets.

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Juraj Kucka, a stalwart at 36, and still a key player for Slovakian powerhouse Slovan Bratislava, is poised to earn his 100th cap for the Falcons, potentially alongside Napoli centre-back Stanislav Lobotka. Meanwhile, Slovakia’s iconic figure Marek Hamsik has retired.

While Hamsik bids farewell, Portugal’s 38-year-old captain, Ronaldo, continues to lead the team. Ronaldo enters the international break with an impressive record of six goals and four assists in his first four league games with Al-Nassr this season.

Slovakia’s Last 5 Matches Form: DDWWW

Portugal’s Last 5 Matches Form: LWWWW

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The two teams have clashed four times in competitions, with Portugal securing three wins and one draw.

In their last meeting during the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Portugal won 2-0, with Ronaldo netting the second goal.

Slovakia has scored once against Portugal and conceded seven times in four games.

Portugal boasts the second-best attacking record in the European qualifiers, scoring 14 times in four games, with only Euro 2020 runners-up England (15) scoring more.

The Selecao is one of three teams yet to concede in the qualifying campaign; the others are France and Hungary.

Slovakia has won only one of their last seven home games across competitions, failing to score in two of their last three.

Portugal has won nine of their last 10 games in European qualifiers, keeping seven clean sheets.

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Slovakia has won their previous three games and is unbeaten in seven games across all competitions. They’ve kept clean sheets in four of their last five outings, but have won only one of their last seven home games.

Portugal, under Roberto Martinez, remains undefeated and has been rock-solid defensively since his appointment in January. For this international break, Martinez has assembled a strong squad, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading a star-studded attack.

Best Bet: Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime – Yes

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