Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

World Cup Preview - Group G - Portugal

Nickname: “Os Navagedores" ("The Navigators")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 4th

Coach: Youthful former pro Paolo Bento

Match Schedule:

June 16 – Portugal v. Germany (Salvador, 12:00 p.m. EST, ESPN)
June 22 – Portugal v. USA (Manaus, 6:00 p.m., ESPN)
June 26 – Portugal v. Ghana (Recife, 12:00 p.m., ESPN)

Prospects: Portugal qualified for the third major tournament in a row via a playoff win after finishing second to Russia in the group stage. The Portuguese typically flatter to deceive at tournaments. They've clearly got the quality, particularly in the form of skillful, nippy little midfielders such as Moutinho and Raul Mereiles, but they rarely have the power to get beyond the quarter-final stage. And once again, they've been dealt a poor hand being placed in the Group of Death, facing off against the Germans in their opening match.

Key Player: Cristiano Ronaldo - like Lionel Messi, if "Skippy" wants to prove himself a true footballing great, he has to put a mediocre side on his back and win something big with them. No one cares how many hat-tricks you score against Real Betis, mate - now's the time!

Youngster to watch: Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho is only 22 but is already anchoring Portugal's core.

Who Will Get the Goals: It's got to be Ronaldo, who scored all four goals in the two-legged playoff against Zlatan's Sweden to get Portugal to Brazil.

Who Will Get the Cards: Rugged Real Madrid central defender Pepe likes to get stuck in.

Prediction: Second in Group G once again, followed by a penalty shoot-out loss to the Belgians in the Round of 16.

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