Portugal will welcome World Cup runners-up Croatia on Thursday at the Estadio Algarve in a friendly, gearing up for the opening matches of the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been omitted from the squad as he has been allowed to stay behind in Turin during this international break, while Croatia will be looking to the inspiration of captain Luka Modric for inspiration.
The home side will be looking to cope with the absence of their star man, with Croatia expected to push on from their memorable campaign in Russia this summer.
|Game||Portugal v Croatia|
|Date||Thursday, September 6|
|Time||7:45pm BST / 2:45pm EST|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will be shown on ESPN+.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Beto, Ramos, Patricio|
|Defenders||Soares, Pepe, Cancelo, Neto, Mendes, Rui, Guerreiro, Dias|
|Midfielders||B. Fernandes, G. Fernandes, Pizzi, Sanches, Neves, Oliveira, Carvalho, B. Silva|
|Forwards||A. Silva, Bruma, Martins, Guedes, Lopes|
Ronaldo has been rested for the fixture, while the likes of Ruben Neves, Bruma, Joao Cancelo, Luis Neto and Renato Sanches have all recieved call-ups after missing the World Cup finals in Russia.
Potential Portugal XI: Patricio; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Rui; B. Silva, Carvalho, Neves, Bruma; Guedes, A. Silva.
|Goalkeepers||Kalinic, Livakovic, Letica|
|Defenders||Vida, Vrsaljko, Pivaric, Jedvaj, Mitrovic, Barisic, Milic|
|Midfielders||Modric, Rakitic, Badelj, Kovacic, Rog, Pasalic, Bradaric|
|Forwards||Perisic, Kramaric, Rebic, Pjaca, Santini, Livaja|
There is no room for Danijel Subasic or Nikola Kalinic in the squad to face Portugal, though are equipped with the star likes of Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic and Modric.
Defender Dejan Lovren will be unavailable to feature in the friendly as he is still sidelined with a long-term injury.
Potential Croatia XI: Kalinic; Vrsaljko, Mitrovic, Vida, Barisic; Pasalic, Brozovic, Rakitic; Pjaca, Santini, Perisic.
Betting & Match Odds
Portugal are priced at odds of winning 13/8 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 11/5. A win for the World Cup runners-up is up for 2/1.
Croatia's fairy-tale run this summer ended abruptly in the final when they lost to champions France, but their extraordinary run in Russia that involved beating the likes of England, Argentina, Denmark and Iceland won't be so easily forgotten.
Modric, who was at the core of Croatia's team and was also named UEFA Men's Player of the Year ahead of Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, is expected to once again lead his team in a tough fixture against Portugal – though will be unlikely to start the friendly, with one eye set on the UEFA Nations League clash with Spain in less than a week.
Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic will be unable to draft in World Cup heroes Danijel Subasic and Mario Mandzukic after the duo announced retirement from international football, along with defender Vedran Corluka. Striker Nikola Kalinic remains out of favour with the national side, after being cut from the squad midway through the World Cup.
The home side endured an ultimately disappointing World Cup despite the opening 3-3 draw with rivals Spain that involved a Ronaldo hat-trick, crashing out at the last-16 stage at the hands of Uruguay.
Ronaldo's omission from the Portugal team will be the main talking point of the fixtur, and will miss out on the opportunity to face former Real Madrid team-mate and fellow national team captain Modric.
In his absence, youthful duo Andre Silva and Goncalo Guedes are likely to get the nod to start, ahead of a UEFA Nations League opener against Italy.