Portugal lineup for clash with Luxembourg announced
Portugal’s starting eleven to face Luxembourg this evening has been revealed.
Portugal will host Luxembourg in the Alvalade at 19:45, knowing that anything but a win will be a huge blow to their chances of topping the group, or even qualifying for the finals next summer.
Portugal are without both William Carvalho and Rafa Silva through injury, both players out of contention for this match and the meeting with Ukraine in Kiev next Monday. The former is a particularly significant loss, having been integral to the Portugal national team since Fernando Santos took charge.
Nevertheless, Portugal have fielded a side more than capable of beating Luxembourg, with Wolves shot-stopper Rui Patricio named in between the sticks.
In front of him, Ruben Dias and Pepe are the centeback partners, Pepe returning to the team having missed both of Portugal’s last two outings (vs Serbia and Lithuania) through injury.
At right back, Nelson Semedo is given the nod ahead of in-form Leicester City right back Ricardo Pereira, while on the left, Raphael Guerreiro maintains his place in the squad.
In defensive midfield, Danilo Pereira starts ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves, though his club teammate Joao Moutinho does start.
On the right of midfield, Bernardo Silva starts for his country yet again, while Sporting captain Bruno Fernandes starts on the opposite flank.
Up front, no surprises as Cristiano Ronaldo starts as the focal point in Portugal’s attack, the second striker playing next to him being Joao Felix.
Also in Portugal’s group, Ukraine will take on Lithuania in a match they are expected to win. Should they drop points and Portugal earn victory over Luxembourg, Portugal will have the opportunity to leapfrog Ukraine in the standings and jump up to first in the group should they beat Ukraine in Kiev next Monday.