Taking Points Off Germany Is Portugal's Most Important Challenge Of World Cup Group Stage

By Craig Pearson
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring a goal for Portugal
Getty Images

Although Portugal have a group which isn’t completely straightforward at the World Cup, it is a group which they will still thoroughly expect to advance from nonetheless. In their mind, they’re even hoping to steal first place ahead of Germany.

Ghana and USA make up the final two places in Group G and they will both be hoping to beat each other and then go on and secure at least one shocking result from the final two games to advance. For Portugal though, their focus should solely be on their first game of the group stage against Germany. That will be the pivotal game if they hope to snatch first place ahead of the Germans.

They will expect themselves, although absolutely nothing is guaranteed at the World Cup, to pick up maximum points from the games against Ghana and USA, and taking points off Germany can only enhance their attempt to clinch the top spot. In fact, even a draw for Portugal against Germany would mean that if they then could outdo what Germany can muster against Ghana and USA, either by points or goal difference, they could then sneak ahead for the top spot.

It will be a difficult task for the Portuguese, but by no means out of the question, and certainly not with Cristiano Ronaldo on the team. He always gives them a chance to outscore anybody. At this point, it certainly looks as though Germany are rightly the favorites to win the group, with Portugal being the favorites to take second place.

But to challenge Germany for first place, though, Portugal are going to have to take points from Germany themselves, and they have the perfect opportunity to try and do exactly that in the opening group game. For Portugal, that is the most important game of the group stage.


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