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Portugal vs Slovenia, UEFA Euro 2024, Today Match Prediction

Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, Heese

Portugal Favored to Conquer Slovenia Despite Recent Droughts

  • Slovenia has won the only head to head game played against Portugal
  • Portugal are averaging 2.17 Goals per game in their last six outings
  • Slovenia are unbeaten in their last five appearances (1 Win, 4 Draws)

Portugal to Win (2-0)

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2024 | Venue: Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, Heese

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Portugal, the 2016 European Champions, fancy their chances of advancing to the quarterfinals yet again. They entered Euro 2024 as one of the favorites, but their journey hasn't been smooth sailing. After an early comprehensive win over Turkey, they needed a late winner against the Czech Republic and surprisingly lost 2-0 to Georgia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.  As a result, Portugal won't take Slovenia lightly, especially considering their struggles in recent knockout matches. Since winning the Euros in 2016, they've lost three out of their last four knockout games in major tournaments.

On the other hand, Slovenia are brimming with confidence after holding one of the tournament favorites, England, to a goalless draw in their final group game. In fact, they are undefeated in Euro 2024. Monday's quarterfinal will be the first knockout match for Matjaz Kek's side in a major tournament.

Portugal Preview

Though they lost to Georgia, Portugal secured Group F with a game to spare. They were impressive offensively, boasting an average possession of 67% and 53 shots on target, second only to the hosts, Germany (69% & 57 shots) after the group stage. This dominance came despite coach Martinez resting several key players against Georgia to test their bench strength ahead of the quarterfinals.

Despite these positives, Roberto Martinez's side has some concerns. Their biggest worry is the form of their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner hasn't scored in the group stage, the first time for him in a major tournament. He has extended his goal drought to 7 appearances for his team. This is also his longest scoreless run across the World Cup and European Championships, with his last goal coming against Ghana in the 2022 World Cup. Despite this recent slump, it's important to remember that he remains Portugal's all-time leading scorer.

From a tactical point of view, Roberto Martinez could deploy a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation. Regardless of the formation, Paulhinha and Vitinha in the midfield will be key for Portugal. Vitinha, in particular, has completed more line-breaking passes (29) than any Portugal player at Euro 2024. As far as changes are concerned, expect Rafael Leao to return to his spot on the left flank after serving his suspension, along with the players who were rested for the game against Georgia.

Portugal Probable Starting XI: Costa (Goalkeeper); Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Mendes (Defenders); Vitinha, Palhinha, Bruno Fernandes (Midfielders); Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Rafael Leao (Forwards) 

Slovenia Preview

Slovenia's only chance of winning this match depends on whether they can force Portugal to make mistakes like Antonia Silva did against Georgia. Slovenians are not the kind of side that will look to beat a top side by going toe to toe with them. They will sit back and defend like they did against them and try to take it to penalty shoot-outs or wait for that mistake to score. With 32% possession in the tournament, Slovenia has the 3rd  worst stats in possession for a side to have qualified for the knockout stage of a European Championship. 

However, the goalless draw against England was their first game since their defeat against Finland—14 games ago—that they failed to score in a game. In the past 2 years or so, the Slovenians have scored goals at an average of 1.7 per game and conceded at 0.8 per game. This just shows that they can pose a threat to Portugal if they mess it up. 

From a tactical point of view,  Matjaz Kak has shown likeness towards the 4-4-2 formation as he fielded an XI based on this for the past three games. The attack will be spearheaded by RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko, while the midfield will be marshalled by Max Elsnik and Gnezda Cerin. Elsnik has an assist to his name, while Cerin has the most presses (196) by a player in the Euro 2024.

As far as changes are concerned, Jure Balkovec will replace the suspended left-back Erik Jansa. No injury concerns are reported, so the other 10 will likely keep their places in the starting XI. 

Slovenia Probable Starting XI: Oblak (Goalkeeper) ; Karnicnik, Drkusic, Bijol, Balkovec (Defenders) ; Stojanovic, Elsnik, Gnezda Cerin, Mlakar(Midfielders) ; Sporar, Sesko (Forwards) 


Monday's round-of-16 clash between Portugal and Slovenia will only be the 2nd meeting between the teams. The last and only time these two met was in March of this year, in a friendly, when Slovenia surprised everyone by winning the game by two goals to none. Elsnik and Cerin scored on that occasion, and both will be the key once again for the Slovenians on Monday. Also, Georgia’s recent success against Slovenia will give them hope. 

However, the Selecao hasn't lost back-to-back games in a Euro Cup since Euro 2008 and will be the favourites, given their unbeaten record leading up to the Georgia game. During the period, they enjoyed a run of 12 straight competitive victories. 

Despite the stats and form of the teams, Portugal, with a squad that they possess and the offensive strength they have( average goal ratio of 3 per game over the last two years), we expect them to trounce the Slovenians in the regular time. 

Portugal to Win (2-0)

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Author: Vishnu Reddy