Portugal go into their final Confederations Cup Group A game knowing that victory against New Zealand will guarantee them a place in the final four of the competition.
The European champions were left frustrated after conceding a stoppage time goal in their opening fixture against Mexico, but Fernando Santos' side held their nerve to bag a vital victory against host nation Russia on Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who has notched 14 goals in his last 10 matches for club and country, scored the only goal of the game against Stanislav Cherchesov's men and the All Whites will have to be at their very best if they are to keep the 32-year-old Real Madrid man quiet this weekend.
Portugal are red-hot favourites to secure a semi-final spot in style by winning this one, with Paddy Power offering just 1/14 (1.07) that Santos' team pick up all three points from their meeting with Anthony Hudson's men.
New Zealand would dearly love to go out of the Confederations Cup with a bang but the enormity of the task facing the All Whites is reflected the 40/1 (41.0) quote for a win for the underdogs, with 10/1 (11.0) that both teams settle for a share of the spoils from Saturday's showdown.
Hudson's men have failed to find the net in five of their last seven defeats and there is 8/13 (1.62) that Portugal win to nil - a selection that would have seen punters profit from 10 of the last 11 games that the European champions have won inside 90 minutes. The same firm offer 8/15 (1.53) that Portugal keep a clean sheet.
Portugal have scored at least three goals in seven of their last eight victories and 4/7 (1.57) is available that Santos' side notch more than two here while even money (2.0) is available that the European champions win a game that produces at least four goals.
New Zealand are likely to have far fewer chances than Portugal to get on the scoresheet, but Hudson's team took a shock first half lead against Mexico in midweek. There is 5/4 (2.25) that the All Whites grab a goal in this game, with 5/1 (6.0) that New Zealand score first.
New Zealand, however, have missed their captain, centre-back Winston Reid, at the Confederations Cup and the All Whites' depleted defensive unit may struggle to contain the free-scoring European champions.
Portugal will be determined to claim a comfortable victory to ensure that they go into the semi-final stage brimming with belief and backing Santos' side to enjoy a handsome win could well prove profitable for punters, for Portugal have notched 32 goals in their last eight wins.
The 10/11 (1.91) quote, therefore, for Portugal to win by at least three clear goals may represent decent value for punters ahead of Saturday's Group A fixture.
|Portugal (-2) at 10/11 (1.91) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|