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Reigning European champions Portugal entertain Israel in Lisbon on Wednesday night for what will be their last pre-tournament friendly. The champions have a tough group stage ahead of them and will have to face the might of both France and Germany over their three games.
Wednesday 19:45: Portugal v Israel
Sky Sports Football
Hungary are in the mix there too. Israel are in decent form, winning three of their last five games and won’t go down without a fight here. Let’s find the three best bets for this international friendly.
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The home side are massive favourites here and rightfully so, of their last 14 matches they’ve only lost one. Their home form has seen them losing just one of their last 17. They have one of the best defences in international football and over their last nine at home have only conceded two goals. However, their recent form over home and away games has seen them concede six over their last six fixtures.
Portugal need to be very wary of Israel’s not-so-secret weapon; Eran Zahavi here. The PSV striker scored 11 goals over Israel’s Group G Euro qualification matches. Robert Lewandowski in the same group only scored six. Over his last five away games for the national side he’s netted a total of five.
Israel rarely go an away game without at least scoring one as well, of their last 10 on the road they’ve scored in six. With odds still above Evens at the time of writing there’s some great value to be had here.
Five of Portugal’s last eight fixtures have seen Over 2.5 goals occurring. Looking at their home matches only, Overs has landed in five of their last eight as well. The stats aren’t as good with Israel’s away games where Overs has only been seen in three of the last five, and six of the last 10 but the encouraging news here is that Israel scored in six of them so should the draw level or take a lead here we can expect Portugal to turn up the heat.
Indeed, Portugal have scored at least two goals in six of their last 10 on home turf. They need to get their preparation right for this one, a bad result here would see them going into their first Group F match, away to Hungary, with some bruised confidence and Hungary although, not a great side, will have a home crowd roaring them on against the current champions next Tuesday.
Saying all that, there’s more than enough in this Portuguese side, they’ve won eight of their last 10 at home, drawing and losing one and they should come out on top here after the 90 minutes. The stats indicate we should see a few goals too and we’re getting pretty decent odds combining both of those here.
Unsurprisingly for international teams, most of the goals for both teams tend to come in the second period of play. Over Portugal’s last five matches they scored a total of nine goals, five came in the second half of those matches. At home, they’ve scored 11 over their last five matches played there, six goals coming in the second half.
Israel’s recent record has seen them score nine over their five most recent matches, six were in the second half. Looking at their away games only, they’ve scored 10 goals, nine came in the second half. With both teams getting most of the business done in the second period of play we’re liking the look of Over 1.5 Second Half goals here.
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