Portugal vs. Greece: Date, Time, Live Stream, Prediction and Preview

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2014

COIMBRA, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 15:  Nani of Portugal celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier match between Portugal and Luxembourg at Estadio Cidade de Coimbra on October 15, 2013 in Coimbra, Portugal.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

With Cristiano Ronaldo completing his personal Holy Grail at Real Madrid by winning his second Champions League, attention now turns to World Cup preparations, as his Portugal team face Greece.

Former European Championship winners, Greece, will fancy their chances on Saturday after it was confirmed Ronaldo will be having the night off after a string of minor injuries in recent weeks.

The FIFA World Cup Twitter account confirmed the news that he and defensive mainstay Pepe will miss the match:

Here is how you can watch this exciting game:


When: Saturday, May 31, at 7:30 p.m. BST/2:30 p.m. ET

Where: National Stadium, Oeiras, Portugal.

Live Stream: ESPN3 (U.S. only) 


The Mitroglou Conundrum

Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Going into the January transfer window of last season, Kostas Mitroglou was one of the hottest strikers in Europe. Six months on, and he is almost the forgotten man of Greek football.

A move to Fulham proved to bear no fruit as the West London team sank like a ship out of the Premier League, with Mitroglou hardly featuring and hampered by injury. 

He faces a season in the Championship next year unless Fulham can find him a new club. And the player would not be pressed on his future, recently saying to the Evening Standard via Sky Sports:

"I do not want to talk about next season. I prefer to stay committed to the national team and the big summer ahead. It is a big honour to play in a World Cup and I want to be committed to this feast of football."

The striker will get his opportunity to play for his country in the next few weeks and will hope he can rebuild some bridges. He has never looked comfortable in a Fulham shirt, and it could be that English football was just too intense for him.

ESPN FC's Chris Paraskevas tweeted about his expectation that Mitroglou will feature against Portugal, and that his country needs him to perform at the level he was playing at not even a year previously:


Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

Before his move to the Premier League, Mitroglou had been on fire. He smashed in 16 goals in his 18 domestic league and Champions League matches for Olympiakos, per WhoScored.com, and was one of the continent's most in-form attackers.

Rather than the World Cup be an exciting crescendo to a fine year, the competition now allows Mitroglou to put himself once again in the shop window.

Portugal will offer him and his countrymen a tough task even without Ronaldo and Pepe, but a fine performance will go a long way to recovering his shattered confidence. 



Armando Franca/Associated Press

World Cup warm-up matches often do not follow the correct script, and the game played on the outskirts of Lisbon on Saturday night might conform to this possible anomaly. 

A Portugal team with no Ronaldo is a Portugal side cut in half. 

Greece beat Portugal to win Euro 2004, and they could be about to perform yet another trick on their southern European counterparts.

But Portugal still have a wealth of experience and exciting youth in the shape of William Carvalho, Nani and company.

Nani has much to prove after an injury hit his campaign with Manchester United, which may have ended his Old Trafford career.

Like Mitroglou, he will be using the World Cup as a platform to showcase his talents and find a solid move to a new team. 

But beating the likes of Greece is well within Nani and his team-mates' capabilities, and they should comfortably defeat their hard-working opponents.

Prediction: Portugal win 3-0