Confirmed Portugal XI to face Serbia
Portugal’s starting lineup to take on Serbia in their latest Euro 2020 qualifier has been revealed, with Fernando Santos opting for a side containing a lot of fire power.
In between the sticks, it is Rui Patricio who is chosen as the shot-stopper, the most capped Portuguese goalkeeper in history only extending his record further.
In front of him, it is Barcelona man Nelson Semedo who starts on the right of the backline, while Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro is chosen at left back. Although not a position he typically fulfils for his German club, he has served Portugal well in that department, particularly at Euro 2016.
In at centreback, Santos has unsurprisingly selected Ruben Dias, the 22-year old Benfica man in great form for both club and country. His partner at the heart of defence is the experienced Jose Fonte, who starts in place of the injured Pepe.
In midfield, it is Danilo Pereira who will serve as Portugal’s most defensive option, while the instrumental William Carvalho starts alongside him, given a more free role to roam and serve as a box-to-box central midfielder.
Sporting captain and talisman Bruno Fernandes also gets a deserved start. He has only continued to impress, picking up from where he left off last campaign as he has led Sporting’s early title charge.
If Portugal lineup in a 4-4-2, Fernandes will be starting on the left flank, while Bernardo Silva is chosen on the opposite flank, the 2019 Nations League Player of the Tournament a guaranteed starter for Portugal whenever he is fit.
There is also a chance that the formation will be more symbolic of a narrower 4-1-2-1-2, with Danilo at the top of the diamond, Fernandes and Carvalho in central midfield, and Bernardo playing just behind the two strikers.
The two strikers Santos has chosen are Cristiano Ronaldo and Goncalo Guedes, the latter having been the man to have won the Nations League trophy for Portugal back in June with his powerful strike from the edge of the box against The Netherlands.
Many were hoping to see Joao Felix be the man to partner Ronaldo up front; that would make for a tremendously exciting duo which is billed up as something of the king playing alongside his natural heir. Portugal fans will have to wait to see that duo though, and will be hoping that it is Ronaldo and Guedes that are singing from the same hymn sheet this evening as they take on a very strong Serbia side.
The selected lineup means that Santos has opted for the exact same eleven that took on Holland in the Nations League final in June.
FULL XI: Patricio - Nelson Semedo, Ruben Dias, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro - Danilo Pereira, William Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes - Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.