Portugal welcome Norway at Estadio do Dragao in an international friendly as preparation for the Euro 2016 competition hoping to bring their first major trophy home.
Portugal were outstanding in the qualifying stages of the competition, they dropped only 3 points and won 7 of their 8 matches, finishing top of their group. They are 8th in FIFA ranking and are the 4th highest ranked European team.
Norway failed to qualify for the Euro competition again this year and have never qualified for this tournament since it started in 1960. They finished a point behind Croatia and they later lost to Hungary in the Play-offs.
Portugal: Team News
Portugal will be without their captain Cristiano Ronaldo and the centre back Pepe as both players are involved in UEFA Champions League finals on Saturday.
Renato Sanchez, the 18-year old Benfica sensation will be the main point of attraction in absence of Ronaldo.
Portugal: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Patricio – Bruno Alves, Fonte, Guerriero, Vierinha – Moutinho, Danilo – Renato Sanches, Gomes, Nani – Quarsema.
Norway: Team News
Harvard Nordtveit won’t be available due to illness, while Omar Elabdellaoui has knock, Alexander Tettey is out with ankle injury and Alexander Soderlund has a damged tendon.
Head coach Per-Mathias Høgmo has called up a number of new faces to the squad including Martin Samuelsen, Stefan Johansen Veton Berisha, Iver Fossum and Niklas Gunnarson, who could all make their debut in the friendly against Portugal.
Norway: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Jarstein – Hovland, Strandberg, Linnes, Forren – Skjelbred, Jenssen, Johansen, Berisha – Berget, Gulbrandsen.
Portugal vs Norway: Head-To-Head stats
Both teams have played 9 times together, Norway have managed to win only 1 game while Portugal have won 6 of the fixtures and the remaining 2 games have ended in draw.
Games between these two teams have seen less goals, only 3 of the 9 fixtures has seen more than 2 goals, most of the games have ended in 1-0 score line.
Portugal vs Norway: Prediction
Even with the absence of Ronaldo and Pepe, Portugal are still heavy favourites in this game as they still have a star studded squad, also the Norwegian side have some of their key players out on injury reducing their chances of winning.
I expect an outright win for Portugal with a 2-0 or 3-1 score line.
Best Bet: Portugal win
Risky Bet: under 2.5 goals