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Portugal vs. Argentina – Rio 2016 Olympics Men’s Soccer – Group D Predictions and Betting Preview – August 4, 2016

Portugal vs. Argentina – Rio 2016 Olympics Men’s Soccer – Group D Predictions and Betting Preview – August 4, 2016

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Portugal vs. Argentina Preview

Where: Olympic Stadium, Rio De Janeiro

When: Thursday, August 4, 5:00 PM ET

Line: Portugal +218 vs. Argentina +113, tie +205; total: 2.0 – view all Rio 2016 Men’s Soccer lines

TV Broadcast: NBCSN

Writer’s Pick: Argentina (+113)


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Offensive Edge – Portugal (+218)

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Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may not feature in this Portugal-Argentina matchup but there will still be some fine attacking talent on display from both of these teams in their group opener this coming Thursday. Portugal will head to this clash with all the confidence in the world after their stirring triumph in Euro 2016. Leading the way for Portugal in this tournament is Udinese midfielder Bruno Fernandes. The 21-year-old captain has scored 10 goals in 86 appearances for the Italian club.

Fernandes will be supported in this tournament by the experienced trio of Porto’s Sergio Oliveira, Salvador Agra of CD Nacional and Sporting’s Andre Martins. Oliveira in particular is an exciting pick and has the potential to be one of the best players in these Summer Games. He was the captain of the under-21 team at the 2015 European Championship. He has scored a total of three goals in 23 appearances for that squad.

Argentina, on the other hand, will rely on the brilliance of Angel Correa to get them through in this tournament. The Atletico Madrid forward has scored five goals in 26 appearances for the Spanish side. Supporting Correa in the Argentina frontline are attacking partners Giovanni Simeone of Genoa and Cristian Espinoza of Villarreal. Simeone racked up a whopping 10 goals for Argentina’s under-20 squad. He finished as top scorer at the 2015 South American Youth Football Championship, leading Argentina to their fifth championship in that competition.

Defensive Edge – Argentina (+113)

Head coach Julio Olarticoechea decided to use his overage player allotment to beef up his young and inexperienced defense. Olarticoechea selected Real Sociedad shot stopper Gerónimo Rulli as his starting goalkeeper and 27-year-old Victor Cuesta as his primary center-back. Much is expected from the River Plate defender who was handed the armband for these Olympic Games. He received his first call up to the senior team back in May as a member of the squad for the Copa América Centenario. That team suffered a gut-wrenching penalty shootout defeat to Peru in the finals. The duo’s experience will be a major weapon for the Albicelestes in their upcoming showdown with Portugal.

The European champions, on the other hand, will bank on Tiago Ilori’s guile to settle Portugal’s back-four. The 21-year-old gained valuable experience back in England last season, suiting up for Premier League sides Aston Villa and Liverpool. He made his first competitive appearance for the Reds back in January, starting in Liverpool’s 2–2 draw with Exeter City at St. James Park. Expected to line up alongside Ilori in the Portuguese defense are Tobias Figueiredo, Esgaio and Villareal’s Edgar Ié.

Writer’s Prediction: Argentina (+113) edges past Portugal, 2-1.

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Joel
Written by Joel

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