A tricky start for the Portuguese team in this Qatar World Cup. Ghana remain a strong and athletic nation, which guarantees an interesting game.
✔ 1X2 Prediction Portugal vs Ghana
Even if Ghana are still a reference African nation, they don’t have the best generation in their history, especially when compared to the 2000s and 2010s. Portugal, combining old and young with varying degrees of success, should win but it will be a tight game.
✔ Correct Score Prediction Portugal – Ghana
Portugal and Ghana have already faced each other once in the World Cup. It was in 2014 in Brazil with a winner from Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of the game. The Portuguese won 2-1, a result which could be the same in Qatar.
Portugal will be under great pressure in their opening game against Ghana. It would be better for them to win before they face the group’s other favourite, Uruguay. We expect to see scores of 2-1 and 1-0.
Let’s not forget that Portugal had to go through two play-off rounds to qualify for the World Cup. The Portuguese team could very well be surprised by an athletic Ghanaian team that will certainly be ready at the start of the tournament. A draw is therefore quite possible. Scores of 1-1 and 2-2 are possible.
If a draw is possible, a Portuguese defeat is much less so. Ghana are no longer the best team of their continent as in 2006-2010. With players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes or Joao Félix, a defeat for Portugal in their first game would be a huge setback. The 0-1 and 1-2 results already seem hard to imagine.
✔ Half-Time/Full Time Prediction: Draw – 1st Half: Portugal – 2nd Half
The Ghanaians will surely put a strong physical and athletic effort from the start of the game to put the Portuguese under pressure. However, the latter, more technical and led by quality individualities, should take the upper hand in the second half to win the match.
✔ Goalscorer Prediction Portugal vs Ghana
The all-time leading goalscorer for men’s national teams, Cristiano Ronaldo is obviously among the potential scorers for this fixture. Portugal can also count on Diogo Jota, who is regularly decisive with Liverpool. On the Ghanaian side, André Ayew is his country’s leader with 100 caps. He is also the second-highest goalscorer in Ghana’s history with 23 goals.
✔ Double chance goalscorer: J. Felix / F. Afena-Gyan
At just 22 years old, Joao Félix is already a key player for Atletico Madrid and Portugal. A technical leader, he is not necessarily in the starting eleven, but he could take advantage of this World Cup to assert himself. In the Ghanaian squad, Felix Afena-Gyan is a newcomer at just 19 years of age. The Roma striker got his first cap against Nigeria in the World Cup qualification play-off.
📄 Match Analysis Portugal vs Ghana
Portugal have had a complicated journey to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Defeated on the last day of the qualifiers by Serbia at home, the Portuguese team was therefore outclassed by the Balkan country. 2nd in their group, they had to go through the playoffs to qualify for Qatar. Fernando Santos’ side first eliminated Turkey (3-1) before defeating Northern Macedonia (2-0).
Ghana initially finished top of their group in the second round of African Zone qualifying, level on points with South Africa. Thanks to a better goal difference, they were able to advance to the play-off against Nigeria. In a tactical and physical duel, the Black Stars finally defeated the Super Eagles thanks to the away goal rule (0-0 then 1-1).
After winning Euro 2016 against France, Portugal had a less successful campaign when they were eliminated in Round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2022 against Uruguay and Belgium respectively. The Portuguese remain inconsistent overall, as evidenced by their laboured qualifying campaign.
Ghana’s golden generation of 2006-2014 has gradually retired. Since then, the Black Stars have failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and were eliminated in the Round of 16 at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, a team which was used to semi-finals since 2008. Worse still, Ghana were knocked out in the group phase of the last Africa Cup of Nations last winter.