Portugal vs. Spain Betting Tips: Back Bruno to be carded in Braga
There is a mouthwatering clash in Nations League A on Tuesday as Group 2 reaches its crescendo. Portugal welcome their Iberian neighbours Spain to the Estadio Municipal at 19:45 with a place in the four team finals up for grabs.
A 1-2 defeat to Switzerland meant that Spain surrendered control of Group 2 leaving Roja’s fate out of their own hands as Portugal usurped them.
Breel Embolo’s strike on the stroke of the hour mark condemned the Spaniards to their first home defeat in almost four years.
Spanish supremo Luis Enrique must harbour some of the blame as his controversial decision to leave their only recognised striker, Alvaro Morata, meant his team barely laid a glove on the Rossocrociati. The fact that left back Jordi Alba bagged the equaliser is pretty damning- only his 10th goal for his nation in 86 appearances- epitomising their toothless display.
They head to Braga to lockhorns with a side that have won each of their last four games and have only conceded two in their entire Nations League campaign, the fewest total of any nation in League A.
Selecao will come into this one brimming with confidence having put four past Czech Republic without reply, their third clean sheet in four Nations League games.
That result moved Fernando Santos’ side two points clear at the top of their group and, with their superior goal difference, gives them the best possible chance of reaching the finals. A point should be enough to see them qualify, putting them in the mix to lift their second title in the competition in three years.
In the absence of Joao Cancelo, Diogo Dalot started at right back and hit the double on Saturday. It would be very harsh to drop the Manchester United man with Cancelo returning from suspension, this should see the latter start at left back at the expense of Mario Rui.
As for the visitors, Enrique did not risk Dani Carvajal and Diego Llorente at the weekend as they were a card away for suspension. The former could replace Cesar Azpilicueta at right back.
Portugal vs Spain Tips
Daniele Orsato has the whistle for this one. The Italian has overseen 12 games this season and brandished an average of over five cards per match.
In his native Serie A, he has dished out over 1,450 cards in 261 appearances, rightfully giving him a trigger happy reputation. Given the magnitude of this clash, in terms of the quality of the respective sides and what is at stake, he could be a busy man in Braga and this is why I think the player card markets are worth delving into.
Given his petulant nature, I was surprised to see Bruno Fernandes at 15/4 with Bet365 to be booked, the same angle is 13/5 with other bookies which is understandable given his poor disciplinary record.
The playmaker already has two to his name domestically this season, putting him well on track to hit his tally of 10 from last campaign. He has picked up five for his nation, one of which coming in this tournament and two coming in World Cup Qualification.
With the hosts only needing a point to secure a spot in the finals, they will no doubt be pulling out all the stocks to ensure they are one of those four teams and this is why backing their goalkeeper, Diogo Costa, to be carded appeals here.
The shot stopper does not have a reputation for his time wasting antics, but Porto’s number one did pick up two cards in the Primeira Liga as his side led narrowly in crucial games at Benfica and Victoria.
Ideally for this angle, Selecao would be away from home but with so much on the line and such a strict referee in charge, I think the 14/1 about a Costa card is worth a punt here.
Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.