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September 7, 2012 2:45 PM EDT
Stade Josy Barthel — Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg)
Referee:‬ K. Tohver‎
Attendance:‬ 8125‎

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

Rui Patricio
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.

  • 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.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
WCQ 2014 (UEFA) ‎(WCQE)‎ Oct 15, 2013 Portugal 3 - Luxembourg 0
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WCQ 2014 (UEFA) ‎(WCQE)‎ Sep 7, 2012 Luxembourg 1 - Portugal 2
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Aug 10, 2011 Portugal 5 - Luxembourg 0
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Jun 3, 2006 Luxembourg 0 - Portugal 3
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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
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
23Hélder PostigaStriker
19Miguel LopesDefender
-Nuno Coelho
13Ricardo CostaDefender
-Ruben AmorimMidfielder
15Rubén MicaelMidfielder
-Nélson Oliveira
18Silvestre VarelaStriker
Group A Matchday 1
Times In EDT
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Man United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Man City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
8 0