Will Portugal win the World Cup? The FIFA World Cup celebration has kicked off and soccer fans are out in full force, screaming themselves hoarse as they cheer their favorite team. Well, don’t expect the Portuguese fans to be lagging behind! They’ve thrown all their support behind their home team and are expecting great things from them this year. But is the Portuguese soccer team capable of winning the coveted trophy this year – all World Cup betting fans want to know - or are fans’ expectations bound to meet disappointment…again? Let’s spend a little time analyzing the team to find out what its chances really are, for World Cup betting sakes! Though Portugal has been participating in the FIFA World cups since 1966, they are unfortunately yet to take the much desired cup home. Their best position was achieved in the same year as their premier appearance when they made it to the semifinal stage and lost 2-1 to England who went on to claim the cup that year. Portugal thus secured the third position. In the subsequent years, it only made it to the FIFA World Cup three times – in 1986, 2002 th th and 2006. They only managed a poor 17 and 24 position in 1986 and 2002 though they th did climb up to the 4 spot in 2006. Portugal’s attempt to qualify for this year’s World Cup got off to a poor start earning coach Queiroz more than his share of criticism. Portugal’s defeat to Denmark on home ground was bad enough without the three draws that followed in their qualifying path. But, the team rallied to notch up three consecutive wins in Albania followed by a victory over Bosnia (2-0) to book their spot in the much anticipated event. They’ve ended up with a spot in Group G with Brazil, Ivory Coast and South Korea. The Portuguese World Cup 2010 team under coach Carlos Queiroz consists of goal keepers, Beto, Daniel Fernandes and Eduardo; defenders Bruno Alves, Duda, Fabio Coentrao, Miguel, Paulo Ferreira, Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho, Ricardo Costa, and Rolando; Deco, Miguel Veloso, Pedro Mendes, Raul Meireles and Tiago as midfielders; Cristiano Ronaldo, Danny, Hugo Almeida, Nani, Liedson and Simao Sabrosa as strikers. The key stars in this lineup, without a doubt, include Ronaldo, Liedson and Pepe. Much is expected of Ronaldo who failed to make it to the last three team matches on account of injury. It might be recalled though, that Ronaldo wasn’t successful at scoring in any of the qualifying matches that he did play. Having said that, Ronaldo isn’t the world’s most expensive player for nothing! If he does what he’s known for (read stunning free-kicks and mesmerizing goalscoring, coupled with skillful runs), there’s much for their opponents to fear. Liedson, now officially Portuguese, can be best remembered for the essential goal he scored in the match against Denmark during the qualifying run-up. Liedson, who plays in the forward position, is looked upon as a scorer that Portugal can depend upon to deliver. Pepe, fellow team-mate of Ronaldo on the Real Madrid team, will be in the midfielder’s position. His importance can’t be underestimated in terms of safe-guarding the back four, as he so brilliantly showed in the team’s qualifying match against Bosnia. While experts can’t ignore the fact that Portugal has managed to qualify for all the World Cups since 2002 as well as the Euro Cup events in 2000, 2004 and 2008, - France, Germany, Italy and Spain being the other countries – however, their less than convincing path to the World Cup has given them enough reason to allow doubts to creep in. What almost all experts seem to agree upon – World Cup betting fans take heed - is the fact that Portugal is an underdog. In keeping with that and despite the fact that Portugal is ranked third, the odds of their winning the World Cup are set at 25/1. Portuguese soccer fans can take heart however, from past experiences which show that underdogs have just as much of a chance to strike the right note and scale the pinnacles of fame and glory as any other team. Where do you do your World Cup betting? Head over to www.sportsbook.com the home of World Cup betting.
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