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March 26, 2013 10:30 PM IST
Tofiq Bəhramov adına Respublika stadionu — Bakı (Baku)
Referee:‬ A. Marriner‎
Attendance:‬ 30000‎
Bruno Alves 63′
Hugo Almeida 79′

Azerbaijan-Portugal Preview: Portugal without suspended Ronaldo

Paulo Bento may also have to do without left-back Fabio Coentrao as injuries pile up for the embattled Seleccao coach

By Jerrad Peters

Portugal - Helder Postiga
Getty Images


Shukurov, Sadygov, Ramaldanov, Medvedev
Farjad-Azad, Sadiqov, Abishov, Dzavadov
Ismayilov, Aliyev

Rui Patricio
Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Silvio
Martins, Voloso, Moutinho
Varela, Postiga, Vieirinha

Cristiano Ronaldo’s yellow card in Saturday’s 3-3 draw against Israel means the Portugal captain will be suspended for Tuesday’s Group F match against Azerbaijan.

His loss further depletes a Portuguese attack that was already without Manchester United winger Nani, who who suffered a hamstring injury on club duty.

Porto’s Silvestre Varela, who started in place of the Manchester United winger in Ramat Gan, is expected to keep his place in Baku, and one of Danny or Vieirinha will replace Ronaldo.

Left-back Fabio Coentrao may also be absent on Tuesday after picking up a foot injury against Israel and Deportivo La Coruna left-back Silvio is on standby should Coentrao be unable to start.

Carlos Martins is also expected to play from the beginning against Azerbaijan in place of Raul Meireles, who has come down with flu.

Azerbaijan boss Berti Vogts has no new injury worries or suspensions to deal with ahead of Tuesday’s match.

  • Portugal head into Tuesday’s match without a win since September 2012—the last time they played Azerbaijan.
  • Silvestre Varela, Helder Postiga and Bruno Alves scored the goals in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Azerbaijan in September—all three coming after the hour mark.
  • With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended and Nani injured, Helder Postiga and Hugo Almeida are Portugal’s only available internationals with more than 10 international goals apiece. Postiga has 25; Almeida 16.
  • Azerbaijan have picked up points in three matches so far in World Cup qualifying—drawing with Israel, Luxembourg and Northern Ireland. But their best performance came in a narrow 1-0 defeat to Russia in Moscow.
  • When the latest Fifa rankings came out earlier this month, the home side had risen two places—from 118th to 116th.
  • These two sides have met on three previous occasions, with Portugal winning each of them by a combined score of 8-0.

Field Report
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World Cup Qualification - Europe ‎(WCQE)‎ 26-Mar-2013 Azerbaijan 0 - Portugal 2
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World Cup Qualification - Europe ‎(WCQE)‎ 12-Sep-2012 Portugal 3 - Azerbaijan 0
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Euro 2012 ‎(EC)‎ 13-Oct-2007 Azerbaijan 0 - Portugal 2
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Euro 2012 ‎(EC)‎ 08-Oct-2006 Portugal 3 - Azerbaijan 0
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
12Rui PatricioGoalkeeper
2Bruno AlvesDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
21João PereiraDefender
8Joao MoutinhoMidfielder
4Miguel VelosoMidfielder
16Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
23Hélder PostigaStriker
-Carlos Martins
-Paulo Machado
9Hugo AlmeidaStriker
18Silvestre VarelaStriker
Group A Matchday 6
Times In IST
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Man. United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
8 0