Portugal vs. Israel: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Portugal was supposed to be on cruise control at this point in World Cup qualification. They are not.
As things stand, Russia is one point ahead of second-place Portugal, and Israel is five points back. The pressure is firmly on Portugal as they take to the road to battle the team chasing them.
This is not to say that Israel isn't feeling pressure. They have to win this one to have a shot at making the top two of the group. However, with the expectations that were placed on Portugal, it would be a stunning embarrassment for them to fail in their last two matches and finish outside the top two.
With just two matches left, Portugal will enter this match knowing that anything but a loss will secure a top-two finish. However, it can be dangerous to play not to lose, and a loss will send Portugal into panic mode.
Where: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisboa
When: Friday, Oct. 11, at 3:45 p.m. ET (8:45 p.m. BST)
Watch: ESPN3.com (live stream only in U.S.)
Odds: Portugal -600, Israel +1,400, Draw +550 (via Bovada)
Top Storyline: Can Portugal finish off qualifying strong?
Can you imagine a World Cup without Cristiano Ronaldo? Love him or hate him, it just wouldn't be the same without him.
That said, chances are he will be there. Portugal finishes off the group stage with this match against Israel and then wrap things up against Luxembourg. Both matches come at home. If Portugal plays anywhere near their potential, they will cruise in both contests.
That certainly doesn't mean they will play up to their potential.
Portugal is coming off of a 3-1 loss in an away friendly against Brazil, but was in fine form leading up to that. It was just on August 14 when they drew Netherlands 1-1.
We'll see which side shows up for this one.
Given Israel's desperate position, I expect them to come out fired up. This will lead to a fast-paced and exciting match.
The problem for Israel is that pace definitely favors the high-powered Portugal side.
I expect Portugal to control this match from start to finish and ease all of their qualification concerns.
Portugal 3, Israel 1
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