Bet Builder Tips: Our 16/1 fancy for Portugal v Ghana on Thursday

Our tipster Shane O'Brien fancies something of an upset here.

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Portugal v Ghana betting tips

Ghana (+1)
Over 4.5 yellow cards
Ruben Dias to attempt 70 or more passes
Over 9.5 Corners

*A Bet Builder with these bets pays at approximately 16/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

Thursday 4pm: Portugal v Ghana
TV: ITV and RTE2

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE TWO SIDES?

CAN PORTUGAL GO ALL THE WAY? Here’s our handy Portugal Team Guide
WILL GHANA CAUSE A SHOCK? Check out our Ghana Team Guide

Ghana (+1)

Ghana come into this World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, but they have added a group of talented newly nationalised players that improve the quality of their squad no end. Ghana crashed out of the African Cup of Nations in embarrassing fashion earlier in the year, picking up just one point in a campaign that ended with a humiliating defeat to Comoros.

However, Ghana have changed their manager since the AFCON and new coach Otto Addo has already proved his worth by guiding them through a daunting World Cup play-off against Nigeria. Addo now has several talented players at his disposal, including Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey, Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams, and Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu.

They are not the same team that reached the quarterfinals in 2010, but they are more than capable of causing an upset or two. Portugal, on the other hand, have flattered to deceive at major tournaments, other than their rather fortunate victory at Euro 2016 in France.

Portugal have not topped a group at a major tournament since the 2006 World Cup and failed to top their qualifying group last year. They have an immensely talented group of players but are held back by a limited coach in Fernando Santos and an apparent inability to gel as a cohesive unit. It wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see them slipping up in their World Cup opener on Thursday so we’ll take Ghana (+1).

Over 4.5 yellow cards

As has been the case in some World Cup games involving a stronger team and a relative minnow, there is a good chance that there will be several yellow cards on Thursday. Sides like Saudi Arabia and Australia have naturally given away fouls when taking on the likes of Argentina and France, earning nine yellow cards between them.

It is likely to be a similar story between Ghana and Portugal. Ghana have earned 12 yellow cards in their last five games against teams ranked above them and considering a number of those games were friendlies, they are likely to at least match that figure against Portugal.

Portugal are no angels themselves, picking up 15 yellow cards in six Nations League games. With impetuous players like Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, it wouldn’t be surprising if they picked up yellow cards of their own, especially if things aren’t going well for them. It’s Over 4.5 Yellow Cards next.

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Ruben Dias to attempt 70 or more passes

Ruben Dias is an excellent passer and will see a lot of the ball on Thursday, with Portugal likely to dominate possession. Dias averages 75 passes per game for Manchester City in the Premier League this season, and a whopping 92 passes per game in Europe.

His passing statistics are a little less impressive for his country, with an average of 63 passes per game in World Cup qualifying. However, he did manage an average of 82 passes per game at Euro 2020 and will surely come close to that average against Ghana on Thursday.

Ghana have recorded 44% possession or less in their last five games against teams ranked above them and Portugal can be expected to have at least 60% of the ball. Dias should comfortably record more than 70 pass attempts on Thursday.

Over 9.5 corners

It is likely that Portugal will win a large number of corners on Thursday if they are frustrated by Ghana. It is natural for a team expected to win a game to exert a significant amount of pressure on their opposition goal when things are not going well, just as Argentina won nine corners against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Even if things are going well, Portugal have won 39 corners in their last six outings at an average of 6.5 per game and should at least match that average against Ghana. Ghana, on the other hand, have won 25 corners in their last six games and can expect to win at least a few against Portugal, who have conceded 31 in their last seven games at an average of roughly 4.5 per game. We’ll finish with Over 9.5 Corners in the game.

Portugal v Ghana Bet Builder tips

Ghana (+1)
Over 4.5 yellow cards
Ruben Dias to attempt 70 or more passes
Over 9.5 Corners

*A Bet Builder with these bets pays at approximately 16/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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