Portugal is one of the favorites to win Euro 2008 and on Saturday they play their first match against Turkey in Group A. Turkey is thought of as the weakest team in Group so this will be a must win game for Portugal. The best player on the field and in the world is on Portugal’s side in Cristiano Ronaldo. He looks ready to go for Saturday’s match. It is important for Portugal to get a win here as they would not want to face a must win game against host Switzerland in the next match. In Euro 2004 Portugal lost their opening match against Greece so they know the dangers of overlooking an opponent. Portuguese coach Luiz Felipe Scolari should have his team ready on Saturday to face an inconsistent Turkey team. Deco, Moutinho, Petit and Simao are expected to start in midfield. Defensively, Bosingwa, Carvalho, Pepe and Ferreira should be the starters. Ricardo is the starter in goal and he has 75 appearances for Portugal and started in Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.
Euro 2008 Betting Preview
Turkey vs. Portugal
Saturday, 2:45 pm ET
Portugal is -5 goal (-140) with a total of 2 over (-145) at SBG Global.
Turkey head coach Faith Terim has put together an interesting team led by forward Nihat Kahveci and Tuncay Sanli. Kahveci scored 20 goals in Spain this season. Hamit Altintop and Emre are solid midfielders and Semih Senturk is a player to watch. The problem for Turkey could be experience. Goalkeeper Vokan Demirei is unproven, having not played in a major tournament before. Turkey has been very inconsistent in the past year. They routed Greece 4-1 in qualifying but yet had draws against Malta and Norway and a loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are coming off a 1-0 friendly win against Slovakia and a 3-2 loss to Uruguay. The big news was that Terim left Hakan Sukur off the team entirely.
Here are the Soccer Betting stats for Saturday’s match. The two teams have met a total of six times and Portugal has won five of the six matches. The only win by Turkey was when they were at home. The two teams have met twice in Euros. Portugal won 1-0 in 1996 and 2-0 in 2000.