World Cup Qualifying Preview: Luxembourg - Portugal
The tiny European state hosts the might of the Euro 2012 semifinalist, with the "sad" Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates keen to break their nation's eight-goal winning margin.
By Tom J Doyle
Hoffman, Blaise, Schnell,
Bettmer, Peters, Leweck, Gerson, Payal, Mutsch, Joachim
Pereira, Coelho, Pepe, Coentrao
Moutinho, Meireles, Veloso
Ronaldo, Oliveira, Nani
Luxembourg goes into this clash against the Euro 2012 semifinalists with a fully-fit squad, so Luc Holtz will be able to name his strongest side against Portugal. Aurelien Joachim will be looking to build on his tally of four international goals to cause a shock upset for Holtz's men.
Read Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo (thigh) and Pepe (ankle) should both return to the Portugal side despite missing training with slight injuries.
Raul Meireles may get a start despite a lack of playing time following his late move to Fenerbache, and he should be joined in the middle by Joao Moutinho.
Nelson Oliveira should got the nod up front from Paulo Bento after impressing with a stunning goal against Panama.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Portugal thrashed Luxembourg 5-0 the last time the sides met, in August 2011.
- The Portuguese have won just four of their nine games, despite reaching the semifinals of Euro 2012.
- Paulo Bento's side moved up to fourth place in the world rankings after a 2-0 victory against Panama in August.
- Portugal beat Liechtenstein 8-0 in both 1994 and 1999, and may well break its scoring record if it is on form on Friday.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured right) has 36 international goals for Portugal in 96 appearances for his county.
- Paulo Bento has been in charge of Portugal since 2010, winning 12 of his 20 games in charge, with four draws and four losses.
- Luxembourg gained five points out of a possible 30 in the qualifying group for the 2010 World Cup, and only got four from a possible 30 when trying to qualify for Euro 2012.
- Luc Holtz's side's 2-1 win against Albania in August 2011 was only its third competitive win in four years of Euro and World Cup qualifying campaigns. In the same time it has registered 24 losses.
Top 3 Predictions
Luxembourg 0-5 Portugal
- 20.38 %
Luxembourg 0-3 Portugal
- 14.97 %
Luxembourg 0-4 Portugal
- 12.74 %
|WCQ 2014 (UEFA) (WCQE)||Oct 15, 2013||Portugal 3 - Luxembourg 0|
|WCQ 2014 (UEFA) (WCQE)||Sep 7, 2012||Luxembourg 1 - Portugal 2|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Aug 10, 2011||Portugal 5 - Luxembourg 0|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Jun 3, 2006||Luxembourg 0 - Portugal 3|
|Mar 5, 2014||Luxembourg 0 - Cape Verde 0||FR|
|Nov 17, 2013||Luxembourg 1 - Montenegro 4||FR|
|Oct 15, 2013||Portugal 3 - Luxembourg 0||WCQE|
|Oct 11, 2013||Luxembourg 0 - Russia 4||WCQE|
|Sep 10, 2013||Luxembourg 3 - No. Ireland 2||WCQE|
|9||D. da Mota||Striker|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed