Portugal face Albania in a crunch qualifying tie for UEFA EURO 2016 Group I clash with just a point separating the duo as they battle for the top spot. Having gone three matches without a goal this season for both his club and country, Captain Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to set that record straight. We look at the team news for Fernando Santos’ side.
Portugal may have lost 1-0 to France in a friendly on Friday night, but manager Fernando Santos’ side are sitting at the top of Group I following a four-game winning run that sees them a point ahead of Albani and two ahead of the Danes.
Portugal begin crucial double header that will seal a fifth straight EURO berth if they are able to get the right results against the Albanians and the Danes in the next two games.
Albanians have done surprisingly well and find themselves in second place in the group. The Balkan nation pulled off one of the biggest shocks in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying when they beat Portugal 1-0 in their own backyard in the opening Group I game.
Portugal will be hoping to turn the tables on the Albanians in their home despite missing quite a few key players with injuries to Fabio Coentrao, Joao Moutinho and William Carvalho. Tiago is suspended after being sent off against Armenia in their last qualifying tie.
One player who will play a crucial role is Captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has gone, rather uncharacteristically, without a goal in his opening three games for both his club and country this season, and will start on the flanks.
Eder will continue to lead the line for Portugal up-front with Nani on the other side of the flank.
Jose Fonte is likely to partner Pepe in the defence in place of Ricardo Carvalho. Eliseu is expected to take the place of Fabio Coentrao while midfield will be consisting of Mario, Pereira and Silva in the absence of the trio of Carvalho, Tiago, and Moutinho.
. Portugal possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Vieirinha, Fonte, Pepe, Eliseu; Nani, Mario, Pereira, Silva, Ronaldo; Eder