Portugal vs North Korea – betting tips, match prediction and preview

World Cup BettingIn the first World Cup match of the day Portugal will play North Korea in group H at 12:30 BST in Cape Town. After drawing against Ivory Coast in their first match, the Portuguese are looking to secure their first win against North Korea, who somewhat surprising managed to lose only 2-1 versus the Brazillian favorites.

Match Preview

The two sides are not new to each other, and older generations of fans maybe remember their legendary World Cup quarter-final in England in 1966. Back then the mystery spun Koreans ran over Portugal with a surprising 3-0 lead after just 24 minutes of play, but eventually lost after Eusebio’s sensational four goal streak to reverse the game and help Portugal win 5-3 in the end.

At present Portugal need a win and are likely hoping Cristiano Ronaldo will copy Eusebio’s impressive goal run, which would be of great importance for the Portuguese chances in group G. In their first match against the Ivory Coast they created very few chances, and actually Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot on the post in the beginning was their best attempt the entire match. Unfortunately for Portugal he is almost two years without competitive goals in internationals, why the Portuguese are praying he will end the goalless streak with a goal today. This will be a key match for Portugal, as they can take a huge step toward the last 16 by winning comfortably against North Korea. With Ivory Coast’s 3-1 defeat yesterday to Brazil, the goal difference could be a deciding factor in the end, should Portugal lose against Brazil as well.

As always mystery things surround North Korea and their squad at the World Cup. They played well in their defeat to the Brazilians, but went back to closed doors afterward and still conduct their training sessions indoor at a gym in Pretoria. Even more mysteries was the absence of four players listed as substitute’s against Brazil and one might wonder whether they saw their chance to defect. Nevertheless, North Korea put up an impressive defensive line against Brazil and frustrated the favorites more than expected.

Team Updates

The Portuguese will be without important midfielder Deco, who twisted his hip during training and will be replaced by Tiago. After their lack of offensive power against the Ivory Coast, coach Queiroz is expected to replace Danny with Simao to create more chances.

We expect North Korea to play with the same line-up, as they did in the match with Brazil. Whether the absent players will return or be used in the match, is still unknown at the moment.

Portugal vs North Korea betting tip

Our betting pick will be Portugal to win by two goals at odds 2.25 at 888 sports.

The Portuguese coach played down the expectations to Portugal before the match against North Korea, by saying it will be no easy feat. The North Koreans were well-organized and expectedly played very defensively against Brazil. We will see the same picture today and the question is how and when Portugal will score. In our opinion they should be able to crack open North Korea early on, why our tip will be the Portugal-1 handicap win. The goal difference could become important for Portugal and they will try to score as many goals as possible in the match. Our match prediction will therefore be 2-0 or 3-0 to Portugal and secure two goal win.

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