Bego tips Bosnia to push Portugal

ASMIR Begovic is tipping his Bosnia and Herzegovina side to push favourites Portugal all the way in this month's World Cup qualifying play-offs.

ASMIR Begovic is tipping his Bosnia and Herzegovina side to push favourites Portugal all the way in this month's World Cup qualifying play-offs.

The on-loan Ipswich Town keeper is hoping to be in the side for the games in Lisbon on November 14 and in Zenica, Bosnia four days later with the aggregate winners travelling to the finals in South Africa next summer.

Begovic, who has starred for the Blues in four unbeaten games since the start of his three-month move from Portsmouth, made his full international debut as a substitute last month. He has been named in the squad to face Portugal, and said today: “It has been set up for us.

“We are away in the first leg, and will be at home when the pressure really starts to count.

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“We are capable of beating anybody and as good as Portugal can be we are confident of getting the right result. It will be tough. Cristiano Ronaldo is injured at the moment I believe, and if he doesn't play they will have plenty of stars in action.

“But whoever they put out we are a decent side ourselves.”

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Begovic feels playing four matches for Town rather than sitting on the bench as an understudy to David James at Fratton Park will give him a better chance of getting the nod to make his first full international start.

“You never know what a manager is thinking, but I am sure he has been kept aware of how the Ipswich games have gone,” added Begovic, who currently only has Town's game at Reading this weekend on his mind. Reading will be a difficult game but we will benefit from Saturday's win against Derby County - and a clean sheet.

“The way we are playing we should be higher up the table, and after breaking our duck we can now push on.”

Begovic had praise for Richard Wright the keeper who had a 100 per cent league appearance record following his return to Ipswich before Begovic's arrival last month.

“I had never met Richard before,” said Begovic. “We train well together and get on well, and having him around ensures that we have to be on our toes.”

Begovic played for Canada at youth levels, having moved to north America with his family after leaving war-torn Bosnia via Germany.

He joined Pompey five years ago and progressed through the academy.

Portsmouth are reported to be leading a three-way chase to sign Benfica defender Miguel Vitor in January. Ipswich and Birmingham are the other two clubs said to be interested in the 20-year-old who Benfica are happy to loan out to gain first-team experience.

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