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Nic Ladds 20th Jun 2010 - 12:24

Time for Portugal to show us what they can do

Portugal have the ideal opportunity to kick-start their World Cup campaign as they take on the lowest ranked team in this year's competition in North Korea.

Portugal (1/3) stuttered and struggled in their opening match against a much tougher Ivory Coast side. With Brazil seemingly nailed on to finish top of Group G, Portugal would go a long way to securing second place with a simple win over N Korea.

North Korea (17/2) exceeded all expectations against Brazil by scoring and only getting beat 2-1 (15/2 to repeat in this match). Surely it is about time we saw what Portugal are capable of and see them tear apart a weak opposition.

Portugal are 3rd in the FIFA rankings and to be fair, have not really done much to justify such a high position.

They are only in South Africa after a play-off win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and after only getting a point from the Ivory Coast, now they really have to win to keep up their hopes of finishing second.

Portugal have played Asian sides nine times and have done well, winning seven of those matches. They lost against North Korea's rivals South Korea in the 2002 World Cup though.

Carlos Queiroz has built his side on solid foundations though, they keep a clean sheet in a massive 78.3% of their matches, higher than any other manager. Although the 4/9 on Portugal keeping a clean sheet is short, it does seem nailed on, but I think it is better to look at the Portugal to win to nil market at 13/20.

They are on a poor run of form in the World Cup, their stalemate against Ivory Coast meant they are without a win in four matches and they really need to get back to winning ways if they want to keep going in this competition.

My main recommendation for this match comes in the card markets section. When Portugal play in the World Cup, it is hard to deny there are an excessive amount of cards. In their last nine WC matches there have been a massive 46 yellow cards and EIGHT red cards. I therefore recommend the over booking points market.

North Korea did so well against Brazil by packing the midfield and making it difficult for the opposition to play. They relied on counter attacking and if they can defend as well as they did then, there is a real chance of Portugal becoming frustrated and struggling to create clear cut chances.

Portugal could be restricted to long range shots and set pieces for large parts of the game which is why backing Cristiano Ronaldo is always worth a go at 10/3 to score first.

It is quite tough to recommend anything about North Korea, they are full of unknown players and the media restrictions placed upon the team means we rarely hear anything about them outside the world of football.

All I have to go on is the initial match against Brazil and although they defended resolutely, I think Portugal will be far too strong for them and my money will be going on Portugal -1 goal at 11/10 which gives you a lot better value than the 90 minute price.



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