Portugal vs Bulgaria predictions and betting tips for tonight’s international friendly including a handicap tip and anytime goalscorer bet.
There’s a handful of International Friendlies on Friday and with their game against Belgium cancelled, this clash will be an important warm up match for Portugal ahead of Euro 2016 this summer.
Portugal were pretty dominant in their qualifying group for the tournament although they were by no means clinical. After losing to Albania, they won each of their next seven matches by a single goal margin.
There was the feeling that Portugal hadn’t quite got out of first gear in many of those games suggesting that just a single goal would be enough. They beat Denmark by a 1-0 scoreline twice and also saw off Albania in the reverse fixture.
After a disappointing World Cup, there is once again expectation on this Portuguese side to bounce back and make it through to the final stages of Euro 2016. As always Christiano Ronaldo carries the bulk of that responsibility, especially considering his recent La Liga form.
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He’s scored 16 times in 13 games for his club, but Internationally he hasn’t netted since a 2-3 win against Armenia in June. He did score a hat-trick that day and he is capable of turning on the style on the International stage.
A very interesting newcomer to the Portugal squad is Renato Sanchez. The 18-year-old Benfica midfielder has a big future and already operates with a style of play which is wise beyond his years. Attracting interest from Premier League clubs and other big-hitters from around Europe, if he gets game time, it’ll be interesting to chart his progress for his country.
Alongside Austria, Hungary and Iceland in their Euro 2016 group, Portugal could have acquired an easier line up, but they will need to work as a team in order to progress and not rely on the magic of Christiano Ronaldo to dig them out of a hole.
Perhaps Portugal lack potency outside of Ronaldo? Eder and Nelson Oliveira are both options up front for the Selecao and neither of these are setting the world alight at club level. Eder is on loan at strugglers Lille from Swansea and has netted twice whilst Nelson Oliveira is struggling for consistency at a mid-table Nottingham Forest side. Nani is another option, he has scored twice recently for his country, but he has never been famous for his consistency.
If clubs cut off the supply line for Ronaldo, it can diminish any threat from the Portuguese side and that could spell trouble against the better teams at Euro 2016.
Bulgaria have won just two of their last 11 games and they finished 4th behind Italy, Croatia and Norway. It will be a quiet summer for the Bulgarians, but they should put up a decent fight here. During their qualification campaign, they only won away at the two teams who finished below them – Malta and Azerbaijan. They scored just four goals away during that time and two of them came against Azerbaijan. Realistically, they aren’t going to cause too much trouble for the Portuguese backline.
It’s short, but you have to back Portugal to keep a clean sheet here. My first Portugal v Bulgaria prediction is for Portugal to keep a clean sheet. They can be backed at 8/13 with Bet365.
Bulgaria conceded four to Turkey recently and during their qualification Croatia put three past them. I fancy Portugal to cover the -1 Handicap. Although they didn’t manage this during their qualification campaign, we are getting closer to the tournament now and Fernando Santos will be looking to build confidence amongst his side and many of his players will be hoping to impress. My second Portugal vs Bulgaria prediction is for Portugal -1 on the Handicap. It can be backed at 11/10 with Paddy Power.
Christiano Ronaldo is the overwhelming favourite in the goalscoring market, but he is far too short to back unless you use Paddy Power’s enhanced odds sign-up offer of 5/1. As Nani has scored twice in the last three games for Portugal (away at Luxemburg & Serbia), he seems a better price and the former Man United player has been included in the squad. My third Portugal v Bulgaria betting tip is is for Nani to score anytime. He can be backed at 21/10 with Bet365.
Portugal to keep a clean sheet – get the best odds 8/13 with Bet365.
Portugal -1 Handicap – get the best odds 11/10 with Paddy Power.
Nani – Anytime Goalscorer – get the best odds 21/10 with Bet365.
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