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? Portugal vs. Luxembourg Preview& line-up: UEFA European Qualifiers

Sunday17 November 2019 | 12:32
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Having accumulated only four points from their seven games so far, Luxembourg will host Portugal in the final round of the European Qualifiers.

Date: Sunday 17th November 2019

Time: 14:00 (UK)

Venue:

<span style="font-family:times new roman,serif; font-size:12.0pt">

Stade Josy Barthel

Previous match result:

Portugal

3-0

Luxembourg

Portugal

is yet to qualify for the upcoming

European Championship

after thrashing Lithuania 6-0 in midweek. They only need one point against

Luxembourg

to qualify if Serbia loses, although sealing all three points is expected.

Serbia is presently standing third in the table, just one point behind second-placed

Portugal

, implying that the Selecção das Quinas could run the risk of missing out on qualification should they fail to win against

Luxembourg

while the Serbians succeed against Ukraine on the same day.

Luxembourg

have nothing to lose, so they will probably try their best to stop

the 2016 titleholders

from directly entering into the main stage of the competition.

Team News:

PORTUGAL

After a 6-0 rout over Lithuania in midweek, we won’t be surprised to see Fernando Santos making a few changes to his starting eleven. However, given the importance of this game, he could retain the services of

Cristiano Ronaldo

and Goncalo Paciencia in the attack.

Raphael Guerreiro could be given the nod ahead of Pizzi. The Borussia Dortmund star may feature in a number ten role, with Bernardo Silva operating as a right-winger.

Ronaldo

, meanwhile, will be deployed on the opposite flank, although he is likely to move into a more central role.

No changes are expected to be made in the defensive department, with Jose Fonte partnering Ruben Dias at the heart of the four-man backline. Any defensive error would be unacceptable in this crucial fixture. They will be supported by the wide defensive duo of Mario Rui and Ricardo Pereira.

In midfield, the experienced figure of Joao Moutinho could be preferred ahead of his Wolverhampton teammate Ruben Neves. Moutinho is likely to be partnered by Bruno Fernandes, who will retain his place in the double-pivot in midfield.

After drubbing Lithuania 6-0 on Thursday,

Portugal

just need one more win to seal their place at the EURO 2020, while a draw here will be enough provided that Serbia do not win their fixture.

Goncalo Paciencia will be hoping to keep his place upfront ahead of club teammate Andre Silva after registering a goal and an assist on his competitive debut on Thursday.

Pepe was a late withdrawal from the squad so Jose Fonte partnered Ruben Dias in the center of defense, and coach Fernando Santos is unlikely to change much with qualification on the line.

Unavailable: William Carvalho (Injured), Nelson Semedo (Injured), Andre Gomes (Injured), Joao Felix (Injured), Goncalo Guedes (Injured), Pepe (Injured)

LUXEMBOURG

Luxembourg

coach Luc Holtz will be boosted by the return of crucial midfielder Leandro Barreiro. He could play a crucial role alongside Olivier Thill in central midfield. They will mainly have the responsibility of cutting off

Portugal

’s passing lines in the center of the park.

Holtz is guaranteed to employ a deep defensive block for obvious reasons. The objective will be to isolate the Portuguese attackers with their tight marking and rigid shape, offering them as little space as possible.

That’s where Lars Gerson, Maxime Chanot, and captain Laurent Jans could play a critical role. The defensive trio will sit deep and contain the pressure from their opponents.

Maurice Deville and Gerson Rodrigues will likely be advised to operate in a deeper role, providing additional defensive cover for the fullbacks.

The

Luxembourg

attack could be led by Dave Turpel, who might deputize for the suspended Vincent Thill. The forward must take full use of his chances this weekend.

Thill is suspended after collecting his third caution of the campaign on Thursday so Dave Turpel, who has scored two goals in his last three appearances, could start in attack.

Luxembourg

's 3-2 reverse in Serbia on Thursday was their sixth successive defeat including friendlies, and they have won just one of their last 10 European qualifiers.

Key Statistics:

·        

Cristiano Ronaldo

has scored 98 goals for Portugal in 163 games, including 13 in his last seven. Only Iran's Ali Daei has scored more international goals, with 109.

·        

Ronaldo

scored a ninth hat-trick for Portugal after thrashing Lithuania 6-0.

·        

Portugal

have lost just three of their last 37 matches, winning 22.

·        

Seventeen of

Portugal

’s last 22 goals have been scored in the second half.

·        

Luxembourg

are on a six-match losing streak, their worst sequence since a run of seven defeats in 2015–16.

·        

Luxembourg

have scored in each of their four previous home games in 2019.

·        

Luxembourg

are on four points, their end tally for both of their past two EURO qualifying campaigns.

·        

One more goal would equal

Luxembourg

’s best record in front of goal in EURO qualifying, though, equaling a mark set back in 1964.

·        

Portugal

have won their last nine meetings with

Luxembourg

, including a 3-0 success in the reverse fixture last month.

Cristiano Ronaldo

scored on that occasion, netting a total of 10 goals in the team's last five qualifiers.

Player to watch:

Paciencia has become one of the most sought-after strikers in the Bundesliga following an excellent start to the season. The forward had initially endured a difficult start to his spell at Eintracht Frankfurt last season but has now hit the ground running, having already netted nine goals in all competitions.

The 25-year-old was rewarded with a maiden call-up to the national team this week, and he made quite an impression, notably scoring the fourth goal in the 6-0 win over Lithuania on Thursday. He is once again expected to play a key role here.

Paciencia’s physicality and aggression would combine well with the athleticism of Ronaldo and the creativity of players like Guerreiro and Silva. Therefore, the Luxembourg defenders must keep an eye on this talismanic forward this weekend.

Predicted Starting line-ups:

Luxembourg XI (4-1-4-1):

Moris; Jans, Chanot, Gerson, Carlson; Philipps; Deville, Barreiro, O. Thill, Rodrigues; Turpel

Portugal XI (4-2-3-1):

Rui Patricio; Ricardo Pereira, Jose Fonte, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro; Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes; Pizzi, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo; Goncalo Paciencia


source: SportMob