New Zealand Vs Portugal 2017 Confederation Cup Soccer Odds
The final round of the group stage games in the Confederation Cup will be held this weekend, and as is the case in all major competitions now, the final games in each group will have the same start time. For those of you new to the game of football, it may be worth recapping why FIFA introduced this rule into the game as well as taking a look at the latest soccer odds.
The changes were made after the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain, which was still a time when no two games were played at the same time. The final game in the group round saw West Germany go against Austria, with the Germans needing to win by a goal to go through, with that result also ensuring that the Austrians would also move on.
Germany scored within the first 10 minutes of the game, after which there was no real effort from either side to change that scoreline. FIFA could not prove that the match had been fixed, but the level of play left a sour taste, prompting them to change the rules so that the final round of games in a group would be played at the same time.
There is not likely to be any major drama when the European Champions Portugal take on minnows New Zealand in the final game of Group A. Portugal are favored to win this one by a wide margin, and need only pick up a point to move on to the semi-final. They will not be taking New Zealand lightly, though, as the Kiwis came very close to pulling off a major upset in their last outing versus Mexico.
In Depth Analysis On The New Zealand Vs Portugal 2017 Confederation Cup Soccer Odds
When: Saturday, June 24 at 11 AM EST
Where: St. Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg
Live Stream: FOX Sports GO
Soccer Odds: TBA
Why bet on New Zealand
In one of the earlier game previews for this Confederation Cup, I made mention of the fact that we had yet to see a shock result, but we came really close on Wednesday afternoon. New Zealand went into the game against Mexico knowing that they needed to win if they wanted to stay alive in the tournament.
Sensing that they were going to be in for a physical battle, the Mexicans made several changes to the team that tied with Portugal, and they did not look like a cohesive unit. New Zealand got the first half lead through Chris Wood, and had several chances to increase that before squandering the lead and eventually losing 2-1.
It was indeed a physical game, with an all-out brawl arriving in the late stages. I expect the Kiwi’s to adopt a similar style as they try to slow down a very skillful Portugal side, but I’m not so sure they will have the same success as they had versus Mexico.
Why bet on Portugal
Portugal missed out on the opportunity to get all 3 points by conceding a late goal to Mexico in the opening game of Group A, and they very nearly did the same thing versus Russia in their second game. Portugal always looked to be in control versus Russia, with a Cristiano Ronaldo goal being all they needed for the win.
That said, Portugal lacked the killer touch required to put a team away, and there were a couple of little scares in the second half that put the result of this one in some doubt. The question now is whether Portugal will put out all their top players for this game, or whether some guys might get a rest.
My feeling is that they will go with a full-strength team and try to put this one out of sight early on. An early goal would certainly help, especially against a team that does not score a lot of goals on the international stage.
Soccer Odds Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
We have not seen Cristiano Ronaldo at his very best yet in this tournament, which means that we can probably expect something special from him, sooner rather than later. He is going to cause this New Zealand defense to have fits, and I think he will pull all the strings in a very comfortable win for Portugal.