Tuesday 10 September: 7.45pm KO
Live on Sky Sports
Portugal currently hold the European title and won the inaugural Nations League. Despite all of those achievements, they still have to qualify for Euro 2020. They aren’t having it all their own way in Group B and despite having two games in hand on leaders Ukraine, they trail them by eight points. Portugal travel to Lithuania on Tuesday and can’t afford a slip-up or they might just have to rely on the play-offs.
It’s been a disrupted Euro 2020 qualifying schedule for Portugal. They played a couple of games before playing in and winning the Nations League championship in June. Now they are back in the Euro qualifiers and need a win in Lithuania.
Portugal began this group with two draws from their first couple of games. They started off with a home goalless draw with Ukraine. That was followed by another home match, this time against Serbia. The visitors took a surprise lead in the 7th minute but the Portuguese team escaped with a 1-1 draw. The odds of this match in Lithuania ending in a draw has odds of 10/1 (11.0) at SportPesa.
While Portugal were off in the Nations League, Ukraine were busy building up a big lead in this group. They earned 10 points from their first four matches taking them eight ahead of Portugal but from two games more. The weekend saw Ukraine get another win with a 3-0 win in Lithuania. Portugal won 4-2 away in Serbia and are 11/10 (2.1) at SkyBet to win this group.
Ukraine aren’t playing on Tuesday, so a win for Portugal will take them to within five points of the group leaders with a game in hand. The top two in this group qualify for the finals and Portugal’s win on Saturday has put them a point clear of Luxembourg and Serbia who have both played a game more than them.
Those two countries meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday and you can bet that Portugal would love a draw in that game. With that Nations League win though, they are assured a play-off position, something that applies to all but Lithuania and Luxembourg in this group.
Portugal are unbeaten since losing in the 2018 World Cup and that’s 11 matches without a defeat. They are 1/9 (1.11) at SkyBet to win this match. Slightly more attractive odds are the 14/1 (15.0) at Bet365 on Portugal winning Euro 2020.
Lithuania are bottom of the group and have just a single point from their four group matches. They have scored three goals and conceded ten, the most recent loss being 3-0 to Ukraine at the weekend. The odds on them beating Portugal are 45/1 (46.0) at Coral.
They are long overdue a win having gone 15 without a win. Their last victory was against Armenia in March of last year. Their only other home game in this group has seen them draw 1-1 with Luxembourg. They trailed in that game and needed a goal 16 minutes from time to get a point. Their chances of reaching the finals look slim unless they could win this match.
The two countries have only had two previous meetings in 2000 and 2004. Portugal won both games and scored nine goals in those two matches. Both teams scored in both games though and the odds of that happening on Tuesday are 13/5 (3.6) at Paddy Power.
No major injury problems have been announced from the weekend fixtures. Joao Felix may be given a start by Portugal.
Portugal made a slow start in this group but should be able to finish in the top two and qualify. They had a good win in Serbia at the weekend and they can get a win at struggling Lithuania. A bet on Portugal to win and over 2.5 goals in the match has odds of 8/15 (1.52) at Betfred.