Portugal vs Czech Republic Euro 2024: Expert Picks and Predictions

Image of Portuguese players

Portugal vs Czech Republic Odds and Betting Tips

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to begin what might be his final international tournament as Portugal faces the Czech Republic in their Euro 2024 Group F opener on Tuesday.

After a fallout with Fernando Santos during the 2022 World Cup, Ronaldo has found a fresh start under new manager Roberto Martinez. This change has breathed new life into the twilight of his illustrious career.

The Czech Republic is also starting a new chapter with Ivan Hasek at the helm. The Czechs have been impressive, winning all four of their friendlies under Hasek. However, this match marks Hasek’s first competitive fixture.

Portugal last won the European Championship in 2016, while the Czech Republic was the runner-up in 1996 and won the tournament as Czechoslovakia in 1976.

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Let’s break down the Portugal vs Czech Republic match at Euro 2024.

Portugal

Roberto Martinez, who previously managed Belgium, now leads a Portuguese squad brimming with talent. Despite Ronaldo’s age, he remains a formidable force, scoring 10 goals in qualifying. Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United is the team’s creative engine, with six goals and eight assists, and he played every match in qualifying. Manchester City’s Ruben Dias heads a defense that conceded just one goal during the qualifiers, in a 3-2 win over Slovakia.

Portugal’s perfect qualifying record should be considered in the context of a relatively weak group, with Slovakia finishing second and minimal resistance from teams like Luxembourg and Lichtenstein.

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Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, under Ivan Hasek, may lack a fully established identity but compensates with unpredictability. Hasek experimented with four different formations in four friendlies, including setups with three, four, and five defenders. His recent use of a 3-3-2-2 and a 5-3-2 suggests a strategy focused on counter-pressing and counterattacking.

Hasek’s extensive managerial experience, despite never staying more than three seasons in one job, could be an asset in adapting quickly to new challenges. Key players include West Ham’s midfielder Thomas Soucek and Bayer Leverkusen’s striker Thomas Schick. There is also a strong domestic core, with 15 players from Sparta Prague, Slavia Prague, and Viktoria Plzen.

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Portugal vs Czech Republic Prediction and Betting Tips

Recent Euro matches have seen a decline in goal-scoring, but the tactical setups for this game suggest a potential for change. Martinez is known for his attacking approach, which can lead to high-scoring games, especially against a team like the Czech Republic that employs counter-pressing tactics.

I predict both teams will score and the total goals will exceed 2.5, with odds at +125 and an implied probability of 44.4%.

Despite a lack of strong qualifying data to support this prediction, the conditions are set for an exciting and entertaining match.