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> > Russia vs. Portugal - Confederations Cup Preview

Russia vs. Portugal - Confederations Cup Preview

Russia vs. Portugal - Confederations Cup predictions, betting tips and match preview

Russia vs. Portugal - Confederations Cuphot preview
Match Date: 21st June 2017 (local time)
Match Venue: Otkrytiye Arena (Moskva)

Russia vs. Portugal - Confederations Cup predictions, betting tips and match preview

Russia vs. Portugal are set to go head-to-head at the Otkrytiye Arena (Moskva) on Wednesday for their Confederations Cup encounter..

Russia vs. Portugal - Confederations Cup predictions, betting tips and match preview

Russia v Portugal predictions, betting tips and match preview

Confederations Cup hosts Russia prepare to take on Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal at Otkrytiye Arena (Moskva) on Wednesday 21st June 2017.

Fyodor Smolov (Krasnodar) has been the leading scorer for Russia in the past 2 campaigns and capped a man-of-the-match display with the 2nd goal as Stanislav Cherchesov's team overcame New Zealand 2-0 in Saint Petersburg in the Confederations Cup opener.

Smolov's performance has seen his face adorn every newspaper in Russia since and he accepts that a far sterner test now awaits in the shape of Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma, Pepe and Co.

Fyodor Smolov: "We have to prepare for Portugal in a serious way, they have one of the best players in the world [Cristiano Ronaldo], and I think we need to make a good start in this match against Portugal.

"We can't just attack and not think about the defence though. We need to be clever and play on the counter-attack - combining all styles of play.

"We will play as the head coach demands. He will prepare us and give us a match plan that we will try to execute."

Reflecting on Saturday's display against New Zealand, and his new status, Smolov added: "I do not feel like a hero, we have not done anything yet, this was just the first match.

"We beat New Zealand but we must now prepare for a big confrontation with Portugal."

Russia's win against New Zealand was impressive purely for the fact that the pressure was squarely on Cherchesov and his players.

Speaking after watching Portugal and Mexico play out an entertaining 2-2 draw, Mutko told TASS: "It was a match between 2 interesting teams, very sophisticated, mobile and technical.

"They played out a result that leaves no room for further mistakes. So, matches with them are going to be quite uneasy. Portugal has many good players along with Ronaldo. It was an interesting match, speedy. I liked it as many football fans did."

Cristiano Ronaldo was in the center of attention in Kazan in his team's opener, with Portugal denied victory by Hector Moreno's late header.

Opening goalscorer Quaresma, who benefited from a lovely Cristiano Ronaldo pass, did speak briefly on his team-mate and long-time friend.

"Cristiano will be a friend for life," Quaresma said. "My desire is that Cristiano continues to be the best in the world and that we can give deliver him more titles."

Quaresma is confident that Portugal can back up their surprise Euro 2016 title in France last year with success in Russia 2018, adding: "We have a lot of youngsters with a lot of talent and quality.

"We also have experienced, talented players who have played football around the world. This is a great team. We have a fantastic team spirit and that is what is making us win matches."

Russia vs Portugal match stats:

Russia and Portugal have met 10 times previously with Portugal winning half of those encounters and Russia winning 2 times (D2).

The last 3 encounters between Russia and Portugal have all been won 1-0 by the team playing on home soil (Russia W2, Portugal W1). 

There have been 23 goals scored in the 10 matches between Russia and Portugal, more than half of those goals came in 2 matches: 
Russia's 5-0 win in April 1983, and Portugal's 7-1 win in October 2004. 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 2 goals in that 7-1 win against Russia, his 5th and 6th goals for Portugal and his 1st brace for his country. 

Russia are unbeaten in 4 matches (W2 D2), their best run since going 5 matches without defeat from September to November 2015 (W5). 

Portugal come into this match having lost 2 of their last 18 matches in all competitions (W11 D5). 

Fyodor Smolov has now scored 3 goals in his last 4 matches for Russia, this after enduring a run of 7 matches without finding the net.

Cristiano Ronaldo failed to find the net against Mexico for the first time since the EURO 2016 final; Ronaldo had scored in 6 consecutive matches for Portugal between those 2 matches, netting 12 times in that run.

Recommended bets:
Portugal to win and Both Teams to Score @ 7/2 with Bet365
Cristiano Ronaldo to score @ Evens with Sky Bet

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Confederations Cup Tips: Both teams to score - Yes

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