Portugal vs. Slovenia Prediction: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Team Back in Action

Written by: Greg Lea
Published June 30, 2024
6 min read
  • Portugal advanced to the knockout phase of Euro 2024 as Group F winners

  • Slovenia were one of the best third-place finishers in the group stage

  • Portugal are strong favorites to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament

Portugal vs. Slovenia Odds

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Portugal vs. Slovenia Pick

Go for draw/Portugal in the half-time/full-time market. Slovenia will not be easy to break down, but Portugal should get the job done in the end.

Bet on Draw/Portugal (+280) at BetMGM 

Portugal vs Slovenia Euro 2024 Prediction

Portugal Still Have Questions to Answer Ahead of Last 16

Portugal were humbled in their last outing at Euro 2024 Championship. A 2-0 defeat by Georgia on Wednesday was ultimately inconsequential for Roberto Martinez’s men, who had already secured top spot in Group F of Euro 2024. But the loss was still unhelpful, casting doubt on Portugal in two key areas.

The first is their strength in depth. This was said to be a major asset before the tournament got under way. On paper at least, Portugal might just have the deepest squad in Europe. There is quality cover in virtually every area of the pitch. But when Martinez made eight changes for the Georgia game, his second-string XI failed to deliver.

The second cause for concern was Portugal’s failure to break down a low block. Conceding within 90 seconds meant Georgia, in a must-win game, never had to step up the pitch and take more risks because they were always defending a lead. That did not help Portugal, but their efforts to prise open the opposition's backline fell short. 

Still, many of the big nations were uninspiring in the group stage. None of France, England, Belgium or the Netherlands hit the heights that were expected either. Portugal are still among the favorites to lift the trophy next month, although the best online sportsbooks rank them behind England, Spain, Germany, and France.

Portugal sailed through qualifying, winning all 10 of their matches, but the European Championship itself is clearly a step up. Despite his international experience, Martinez continues to divide opinion. He tinkered with Portugal’s formation in the group, with many fans hoping the head coach does not return to the 3-4-3 that struggled against Georgia last time out.

A convincing victory on Monday would get Portugal back on track. Right now, though, it still feels like this team has plenty of questions to answer.

Bet on Portugal vs Slovenia at BetMGM 

Slovenia Were Hard to Beat in Euro 2024 Group Stage

Unlike Portugal, Slovenia did not lose a single game in the group phase. That is the optimistic take. Those of a pessimistic persuasion will point to the fact they did not win one either. Three draws with Denmark, Serbia, and England took Slovenia through as one of the best third-place finishers.

Reaching the knockout stage is a fine achievement for a country with a population of two million. This is the first time they have made it into the knockouts of a major tournament as an independent nation (although they did in effect reach the last 16 of Euro 2000, which featured that number of teams in the group stage). 

Matjaz Kek was already a national hero for taking Slovenia to the 2010 World Cup in his first spell in charge of the national team. His popularity has increased further this summer - and it will go through the roof if he can mastermind a shock victory in Frankfurt.

Slovenia are a defense-minded outfit. Only Scotland took fewer shots in the group stage, while Kek’s men had the lowest possession of all 24 teams. But they were reasonably solid: based on the expected goals data, seven sides (including Italy, Austria, and Turkey) gave up more chances across the first three matchdays.

Slovenia have already shown they are hard to beat, while Portugal demonstrated against both Czech Republic and Georgia that they sometimes find it difficult to break apart deep defenses. That gives the underdogs some hope ahead of Monday’s showdown.

Portugal Should Advance But It Might Not Be Convincing

Slovenia’s two star men are at either end of the pitch. Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid is a world-class goalkeeper, while the 21-year-old Benjamin Sesko is one of the most talented young strikers around right now.

But others caught the eye in the group stage. The centre-back duo Jaka Bijol and Vanja Drkusic were solid throughout. Andraz Sporar has dovetailed nicely with Sesko up front, showing some clever movement and nice touches. The full-backs Erik Janza and Zan Karnicnik provided an outlet down the flanks, although the former is suspended for Monday’s game.

Slovenia will be happy enough to keep things tight at the back in the first half. The longer they can keep Portugal at bay, the more rushed their opponents will get - and that could play into their hands.

Slovenia frustrated England in the opening 45 minutes of their last encounter and a similar showing here could make life difficult for Portugal. Do not be surprised if the score is still 0-0 when the referee blows his whistle to signal the interval.

In the end, though, Martinez’s men should have enough quality to get the job done and book their spot in the quarter-finals, setting up a tie against either France or Belgium in Hamburg. Go for a draw at half-time and a Portugal victory at full-time.

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How to Watch Portugal vs. Slovenia

  • Teams: Portugal vs Slovenia

  • Location: Waldstadion, Frankfurt, Germany

  • Date and Time: Monday, 1 July 2024 at 3:00 PM ET 

  • How to Watch: FOX


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Greg Lea

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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Politics
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