Portugal riding high in FIFA Rankings but not World Cup Betting

31st May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Real Madrid defender Pepe has been given permission to train with the Portugal World Cup squad. After being out of action since last December, the attacking defender is still hopeful of playing in South Africa 2010. Coach Carlos Queiroz would naturally like to get Pepe back in the side, simply because of the threat he can pose from the back. Portugal’s build up for the World Cup has been somewhat understated compared to other European nations. While midfielder Deco has been playing up his country’s chances of winning the World Cup, ex Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo has been more pragmatic in his approach. Ronaldo knows that in order for his nation to succeed, he needs to be part of a team, and in quite a humble way he has stated that he cannot carry the team. He knows that Portugal need more than just a few superstars, they need a solid team that can play together, and World Cup Odds reflect the thought, that that is not what they have. Betting on the World Cup at SkyBet has Portugal out at 28/1 to lift the trophy.

Portugal struggled through qualification, only putting up a late rally to finished second in their group behind Denmark. Following that, Portugal battled through a tough play off against Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach the World Cup finals. Their last international friendly though, on May 24th, finishing in a morale blow for the Portuguese, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Cape Verde Islands who are ranked 117th in the World. The side was packed with talent like Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco and Nani, but could not find a way through the Cape Verdeans. Portugal went into that match on the back of a 2-0 win against China in an International Friendly, and now step up their World Cup preparations, with a tougher international friendly against Cameroon on June 1st. This will be a tough test for coach Carlos Quieroz, but good preparation too, as they have to face the tougher African nation, Ivory Coast in their Group G World Cup fixtures.

It is against the Ivory Coast who Portugal will open their account in South Africa 2010. It is a crucial match, in which defeat for one of them, could spell very early disaster for their World Cup ambitions. Why? Because Brazil are also in the group, and outright favourites at the best bookmakers for World Cup betting to win it, leaving the Ivory Coast and Portugal to scrap it out for second place. Whoever finishes second, will likely have to play Spain in the second round. In the recent reshuffle of the Official FIFA rankings, Portugal have jumped up to third in the World, this coming after FIFA restructured the ranking points gained. Portugal have invention in their team, but as shown during European qualification, they often failed to turn possession and invention into a final product. Now there is no more room for error, as every chance will need to be taken if they are to progress through a tough draw in South Africa 2010. After the Cameroon friendly, Portugal move on to play Mozambique in their final match before taking on the challenge of the “Group of Death”.

International Friendly June 1st
Portugal to win: 4/6 at Boylesports
Draw: 13/5 at Bet365
Cameroon: 17/4 at Bwin


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