Monday, November 28, 2022

Portugal vs Ghana – World Cup Group H: How they got there, form and prediction as Cristiano Ronaldo starts the campaign

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ALL eyes have been on Cristiano Ronaldo in the last few weeks leading up to Portugal’s 2022 World Cup season.

The 37-year-old superstar saw his contract with Manchester United terminated on Tuesday after his explosive interview with SunSport columnist Piers Morgan in which he tore the club to pieces from top to bottom.

As a free agent, Ronaldo is playing for his future in football.

And with Fernando Santos missing a number of key players for the Qatar tournament, they need Ronaldo to be at their best.

Portugal has never won a World Cup. In fact, they never reached a final, finishing third in 1966 and fourth in 2006.

Aside from those years, the nation has only reached the last 16 twice, with a rather poor record on the biggest stage.

And they face a tricky season from the start as they face Ghana, South Korea and Uruguay in the group stage.

Reaching the knockout rounds is far from certain – so SunSport takes a look at everything you need to know about them and their World Cup openers, Ghana.

Portugal: Forced the hard way as they finished second to Serbia in their Uefa qualifying group despite six goals from Ronaldo.

They defeated Turkey 3-1 before winning their play-off final 2-0 against North Macedonia – who had previously defeated Italy, the Euro 2020 winners.

HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON THE WORLD CUP

Ghana: Eliminated in group stage by Afcon, qualifying for World Cup in dramatic fashion.

They topped their second-round qualifying group ahead of South Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe before defeating Nigeria on away goals in a two-leg game against Qatar.

Portugal: Won the pre-tournament friendly against Nigeria 4-0 but the form was patchy.

They won three of their six Nations League games – including 4-0 victories over Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

But they also lost to the Czechs as well as Spain – to go with another draw against their neighbors.

You’re never quite sure which Portugal will emerge, but when they do, they’re almost unstoppable.

Ghana: It’s been a tough year that started with a 3-0 win over Algeria ahead of Afcon.

Things didn’t get any better in the tournament as they lost 1-0 to Morocco and 3-2 to Comoros, followed by a 1-1 draw with Gabon as they fell in the group stage.

Since then they have battled past Nigeria to reach the World Cup.

But even then, not everything is positive. After beating Madagascar 3-0, they drew 1-1 with Central African Republic in their Afcon qualifier.

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