Portugal vs Ghana: World Cup 2022 Prediction, kick-off time, team news, h2h

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The Black Stars kick off their Qatar 2022 campaign against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.

Portugal start their quest for a World Cup with a clash against Ghana on Thursday evening at Doha’s Stadium 974. The Selecao are in Group H alongside Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea.

Portugal will be looking to surpass their performance from the 2018 World Cup, where they were knocked out in the second round by Uruguay.

The Selecao are one of the favourites for the competition, but they have only made it to the semi-final twice in their history (1966 and 2006).

Meanwhile, Ghana are back on the biggest stage for the first time in eight years after missing the 2018 edition in Russia. The Black Stars are appearing in their fourth World Cup since they first qualified in 2006.

Ghana have quite a good record at the World Cup, having qualified from their group on two previous occasions, including the 2010 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final.

Head-to-Head

This is the second time the two sides will meet at the World Cup after they clashed in 2014, with Portugal winning 2-1 on that day.

Portugal’s form (WWLWLW)

Ghana’s form (WDLLWW)

Both sides head into the game in great form after winning their warmup games before the tournament. Ghana stunned Switzerland, while Portugal secured a dominant victory over Nigeria.

Portugal vs Ghana players to watch

Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo

The build-up to the game has been all about Ronaldo, but not for football reasons. The 37-year-old is in the headlines after he gave that bombshell interview with Piers Morgan, which saw him hit out at Erik Ten Hag and Manchester United.

Although the interview has now cost him his job after United terminated his contract by mutual consent, Ronaldo is fully focused on Portugal.

Before United’s statement, Ronaldo had appeared in front of the media, saying his interview would not distract Portugal from reaching their goal. This is Ronaldo’s fifth and probably final World Cup, but he is determined to leave on a high.

Bernardo Silva

Another player who will be key for Portugal is Bernardo Silva. With 73 caps and eight goals to his name, Silva is one of the most experienced players in the squad. He arrives at the competition in great form, having scored two goals and recorded five assists in 14 league games for Manchester City this season.

Silva is a valuable asset for Portugal due to his ability to play anywhere in advanced positions. His creativity and work rate will be important if Portugal are to go all the way in Qatar.

Ghana

Inaki Williams

Ghana have been able to convince a few players of Ghanaian origin to switch international allegiance after qualifying for the World Cup.

One of the players is Inaki Williams, who was born in Spain to Ghanaian parents. However, he decided to switch international allegiance and will be tasked with scoring goals for Ghana.

The Athletic Bilbao man is expected to lead the line for the Black Stars, and his performance up front will be key if the four-time African champions are to progress.

Thomas Partey

The Arsenal star’s experience alongside captain Andre Ayew will be key if Ghana are to get anything from the game. Partey faces the tough task of winning the battle in the middle of the park but arrives at the competition full of confidence following his impressive start to the season with Arsenal.

The Coaches

Fernando Santos won Portugal their only major trophy- Euro 2016- but he has always come under criticism for his negative football. With Portugal having one of the best squads in the competition, Santos will be under pressure to switch up his style in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Ghana will hope that Otto Addo’s coaching experience at Borussia Dortmund will help them in their quest to qualify from a difficult group. While Addo will lead Ghana out in Qatar, he is also Dortmund’s assistant coach, which may be handy at the World Cup.

Portugal vs Ghana prediction

Ghana will definitely show a lot of fighting as they did in previous World Cups, but Portugal’s talented squad may just be too much for them.

Portugal 3-1 Ghana.

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