After surprising everybody to win the European Championship in 2016, the Portuguese will look to repeat that success in Russia.
2018 World Cup Information: Group B: PORTUGAL
Spearheaded by the irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo – simply the 15 targets for the captain in 9 World Cup qualifiers – Portugal’s close to faultless marketing campaign of 9 wins in 10 video games solely confirmed that the Selecao are experiencing a golden age.
Coach Fernando Santos has gained all however one of many 17 qualifying matches that Portugal have performed since he took the reins in September 2014, with the small matter of a European Championship triumph within the center.
In what will likely be Ronaldo’s final shot at main his nation to the last word prize, Portugal journey to Russia in optimistic temper, though there are considerations about youthful alternate options for central defenders Pepe, Jose Fonte and Bruno Alves – who’ve a mixed age of over 100 years.
Key Moments in Qualifying
With out the injured Ronaldo, the newly-crowned European Champions are introduced again all the way down to earth with a bump as Switzerland register a totally deserved 2-Zero victory in Basle.
Andre Silva turns into the youngest participant ever to attain a hat-trick for Portugal as they win 6-Zero away to Faroe Islands.
A scrappy Andre Silva purpose offers Portugal victory in a bad-tempered match in Budapest to successfully arrange a decider towards Switzerland.
A surprisingly straight-forward 2-Zero overcome the Swiss in Lisbon sees Portugal overtake their opponents on the prime of the group and e-book their place in Russia.
Fernando Santos, age 63 (10.10.54)
Having changed Paulo Bento, it’s now three years on the helm for a person who can rightly be thought of as one of the best coach in Portugal’s historical past. His present contract runs till 2020.
Andre Silva introduced himself in model, scoring 9 targets and forming a deadly partnership with Ronaldo.
Pepe stays the bedrock of Portugal’s defence, whereas Ricardo Quaresma and Joao Moutinho proceed to make key contributions. For all three, Russia will likely be their closing probability of World Cup glory.
Raphael Guerreiro, who missed a lot of the qualifying marketing campaign, has proved himself to be a clone of his predecessor at left-back Fabio Coentrao: good at any time when he performs however extraordinarily injury-prone.
Goncalo Guedes made two appearances in 2015 as an 18-year-old and returned to the aspect this 12 months.
The Unanswered Questions
Have sufficient of the aspect had adequate taking part in time this time period?
Whereas the present crop of younger Portuguese expertise has undoubtedly received potential, few might be thought of common starters for his or her membership sides. What’s going to time spent on the bench do for the match health and confidence ranges of Andre Silva (Milan), Joao Mario (Internazionale) and Bernardo Silva (Manchester Metropolis)?
Will a deadly strike-force take its qualifying kind to Russia?
For years Portugal struggled for a dependable goalscoring centre-forward, however that search appears to be over as Andre Silva has began his worldwide profession in spectacular style and has nice chemistry with Ronaldo – they shared 24 targets in qualifying.
How will Santos use Bernardo Silva?
Silva is broadly acknowledged as the most important expertise to return out of Portugal since Ronaldo, however Santos has struggled to get one of the best out of him. Extensive proper in a flat and slim Four-Four-2 is his regular place, however many are calling for the coach to implement a diamond formation with Silva on the attacking tip.
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