Portugal - Panama Preview: Seleccao aim to continue Euro 2012 momentum in Faro friendly
The European semi-finalists begin preparations to qualify for the 2014 World Cup with an exhibition fixture against Julio Dely Valdes' side at the Estadio Algarve
By Karthick Arvinth
Pereira, Coelho, Costa, Coentrao
Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles
Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo
Torres, Baloy, L Henriquez
A Henriquez, Cedeno, Barahona, Perez
Tejada, Aguilar, Quintero
Defenders Pepe and Bruno Alves have withdrawn from the Portugal squad for Wednesday's friendly against Panama in Faro because of injury.
Coach Paulo Bento has called up Sporting Braga's Nuno Coelho and Porto's Sereno into the squad as cover.
Midfielder Custodio has also pulled out with a thigh problem and has been replaced by Deportivo La Coruna's Andre Santos.
Panama are expected to name a strong side as they ramp up preparations for key World Cup qualifiers against Canada next month.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Portugal have won just three of their last eight matches (W3, D3, L2).
- The Seleccao have been drawn in Group F for the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, along with Russia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Northern Ireland and Luxembourg.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured right) has scored three times in his last three outings for Portugal.
- Panama have won nine of their last 11 internationals, including their last four.
- The Central American nation top their World Cup qualifying third round group, having won both their opening matches against Honduras and Cuba respectively.
- Panama have never featured in a World Cup finals tournament. Their best ever result was reaching the fourth round of the 2006 World Cup Concacaf qualifications.
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Top 3 Predictions
Portugal 4-0 Panama
- 16.39 %
Portugal 3-0 Panama
- 11.2 %
Portugal 8-0 Panama
- 9.56 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||Aug 15, 2012||Portugal 2 - Panama 0|
|Nov 19, 2013||Sweden 2 - Portugal 3||WCQ|
|Nov 15, 2013||Portugal 1 - Sweden 0||WCQ|
|Oct 15, 2013||Portugal 3 - Luxembourg 0||WCQ|
|Oct 11, 2013||Portugal 1 - Israel 1||WCQ|
|Sep 11, 2013||Brazil 3 - Portugal 1||FR|
|13||Jean Carlos Cedeño||Midfielder|
|17||Luis Alfonso Henriquez||Defender|
|-||J. De Gracia||Midfielder|
The world's most expensive player is looking to build off what was his best season in Spain in 2011-12, in which he netted 60 times in 55 games, making him one of the front-runners for this year's Ballon d'Or. The Real Madrid ace has continued his rich vein of form from Euro 2012 into pre-season, netting a brilliant double against AC Milan last week in New York.
Panama's all-time leading scorer with 34 goals, the 30-year-old Tejada will look to cause problems for Portugal's reshuffled backline.
Provided they play a strong line-up, Portugal should have little trouble in dispatching the Central Americans, who will nevertheless gain a lot from the experience of facing off against some of the best players in the world.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed