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World Cup playoffs: Portugal vs North Macedonia match preview

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Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo. | PHOTO: Getty Images |
  • Portugal will face North Macedonia in the playoffs final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
  • Portugal defeated Turkey on the way to the final while North Macedonia surprised European Champions Italy
  • The two teams will battle for a spot in the group stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup set to take place in Qatar

Either Portugal or North Macedonia will book their place at the 2022 World Cup when the two teams battle it out on Tuesday night.

Fresh from their historic upset of European champions Italy – whom they beat 1-0 on Thursday night – the North Macedonians will be looking to spring another surprise against Cristiano Ronaldo and company when they travel to Portugal.

Portugal comfortably beat Turkey to get to this stage and failure to win again here would be nothing short of a catastrophe.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the high-stakes game…

Italy 0-1 North Macedonia

North Macedonia players celebrate after scoring against Italy in the semi-final of the World Cup qualifier playoffs on Thursday, March 24 2022. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

How to watch Portugal vs North Macedonia on TV/live stream

When is kick-off? Tuesday 29 March, 19:45 (GMT), 21;45 (EAT)
Where is the match being played? Estado de Dragao, Porto Portugal
Referee? Anthony Taylor
VAR? Chris Kavanagh

Portugal team news

In a big boost for Portugal, Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo will return at full-back after missing out in the previous round through suspension.

In further good news, Fernando Santos has no further selection issues to contend with ahead of this one. He should name close to an unchanged team with Joao Felix starting on the bench.

North Macedonia team news

Incredibly, North Macedonia managed to get the job done against Italy without their star man, Napoli midfielder Eljif Elmas. He will be back from suspension in time for this one though, as will Tihomir Kostadinov.

North Macedonia will likely be without Arijan Ademi and Boban Nikolov however after both were forced off during the victory of Gli Azzurri.

Portugal vs North Macedonia form

North Macedonia showed remarkable resilience to get through the majority of the Italy game unscathed before pouncing at the death to complete an incredible upset.

That performance would have taken a lot out of them but they will still be on a high from defeating the European champions while the return of Elmas is another huge boost.

Despite this, Portugal put in a professional job against Turkey and with Cancelo back in the squad we cannot see them failing to secure passage to Qatar on Tuesday.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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