Archive for the ‘Match Preview’ Category


A Seleção will need to defeat Sweden in a decisive playoff in order to book their tickets to next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Paulo Bento’s squad will face Sweden in the first-leg at the Estádio da Luz on November 15th, followed by the return leg at the Friends Arena in Solna, Stockholm four days later.

Manager Paulo Bento continued the trend from recent matches by selecting new players to the squad. Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho was selected for the first time after some terrific displays this season that have earned him attention from major European clubs.

19-year old winger Bruma has also earned a position on the squad. He was previously called up as an injury replacement in Portugal’s last qualifying match against Luxembourg.

Other notable call-ups include youngsters André Almeida and Josué. João Pereira and Fábio Coentrão have been battling injuries but were selected. Braga goalkeeper returned to the squad after an injury to Lyon’s Anthony Lopes.

Missing out this time around are Sporting’s Cédric Soares and André Martins, Nélson Oliveira, Pizzi, Licá and Ruben Amorim. Zenit’s Danny limped off the field in a Champions League match against FC Porto this week and was not selected.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga)

Defenders: André Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Malaga), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), João Pereira (Valencia), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Neto (Zenit) Ricardo Costa (Valencia)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), João Moutinho (Monaco), Josué (FC Porto), Raúl Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Ruben Micael (Braga)

Forwards: Bruma (Galatasaray), Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Hélder Postiga (Valencia), Éder (Braga), Varela (FC Porto), Nani (Manchester United)

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 5 Players That Could Help Portugal Beat Sweden And Reach Brazil 2014

FEATURE: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

PLAYER PROFILE: Manchester United Are Interested In Signing William Carvalho

SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Emerging Star Midfielder William Carvalho

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

The Seleção will renew its rivalry with The Netherlands in an international friendly on Wednesday, August 14 at Algarve stadium in Faro.

The match will mark the first time Portugal will face the Oranje since its dramatic 2-1 win in the final group stage match at the 2012 European Championships. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored both Portuguese goals in that match will of course captain the Seleção for the match, barring injury.

Paulo Bento’s Portuguese squad was announced on Tuesday and there were few surprises. Real Madrid defender Pepe made his return after missing out last time due to a yellow card suspension.

Missing out this time around are Beşiktaş striker Hugo Almeida, Sporting Lisbon midfielder Andre Martins, and Espanyol winger Pizzi. Sporting Braga striker Éder is still recovering from a knee injury and was not selected.

Bento’s squad is hoping to prepare for a series of critical World Cup qualifying matches in September and October. They are currently in first place in group F with 14 points in 7 matches. However, Russia is only two points behind despite playing two fewer matches.

Goalkeepers: Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga) Rui Patrício (Sporting)

Defenders: João Pereira (Valencia), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Sílvio (Benfica), Pepe (Real Madrid), Neto (Zenit)

Midfeilders: Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), João Moutinho (Mónaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Custódio (Braga), Rúben Amorim (Benfica), Rúben Micael (Braga)

Forwards: Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Danny (Zenit), Nélson Oliveira (Rennes)


Sporting Lisbon midfielder André Martins was the one notable addition to Paulo Bento’s Portugal squad that will face Russia in a crucial World Cup 2014 qualifier on June 7th in Lisbon.

The 23-year-old Martins began playing regularly again for Sporting under previous manager Jesualdo Ferreira and told media on Wednesday that Ferreira was fundamental in his first international call-up.

Ruben Micael and Nani who missed out on selection in March due to injury return to the squad this time around. As do Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa and Ruben Amorim. Real Madrid central defender Pepe was not chosen because he will be serving a yellow card suspension.

Paulo Bento’s squad will face a confident Russia side coached by veteran Italian manager Fabio Capello who are undefeated in four matches so far in group F and remain firmly in first place. Portugal remains tied with Israel in second place with four matches to go.

The Seleção will also face Croatia in an international friendly in Geneva on June 10th.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting), Beto (Sevilla) e Eduardo (Istanbul BB);

Defenders: João Pereira (Valência), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Sílvio (Deportivo), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Luís Neto (Zenit) e Sereno (Valladolid), Ricardo Costa (Valência);

Midfielders: André Martins (Sporting), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Miguel Veloso (D. Kiev), João Moutinho (Mónaco), Custódio (SC Braga), Paulo Machado (Olympiakos), Rúben Amorim, Rúben Micael (SC Braga, on loan);

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo).

Related Posts:

SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Promising Midfielder André Martins

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Istanbul BB);

Defenders: João Pereira (Valencia), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Sílvio (Deportivo), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Pepe (Real Madrid), Luís Neto (Zenit), Sereno (Valladolid)

Midfielders: Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Miguel Veloso (D. Kiev), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Custódio (Braga), Carlos Martins (Benfica), Paulo Machado (Olympiakos)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Pizzi (Deportivo), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas)

Portugal manager annouced his squad for two important World Cup qualifying away matches against Israel and Azerbeijan amid injury worries and poor form.

The Seleção will know that their margin of error will be small after some poor results so far in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Portugal are currently 3rd in group F with 7 points after 4 matches.

Though not in any real danger of missing qualification, a stretch of poor results against lesser teams has put serious pressure on manager Paul Bento to get back on track. A loss to Russia, and an unexpected draw with Northern Ireland in Braga has many fans concerned about the team’s form.

This combined with a lacklustre draw with Gabon and a loss to Ecuador in friendlies. The team has been plagued with defensive mishaps and wasteful possession since their successful European Championships last June.

Bento will welcome back central defender Pepe from injury but will be missing one of his most potent offensive weapons in Nani who picked up a hamstring injury in Manchester United’s FA cup match against Chelsea.

Sporting Braga’s Eder and Ruben Micael are both out with injuries. Joao Moutinho is battling a thigh injury but was selected and is expected to start against Israel on March 22nd.

Vieirinha received his second call-up after some good performances with his Bundesliga club Wolfsburg. Deportivo winger Pizzi, Benfica’s Carlos Martins and Olympiakos’ Paulo Machado made their return to international play.

Deportivo’s Nelson Oliveira, Benfica’s Andre Gomes, Besiktas’ Manuel Fernandes, Malaga’s Vitorino Antunes and Benfica’s Andre Almeida are notable omissions.

Paulo Bento admitted to reporters that gaining automatic qualification by winning their group is less than realistic at this point but insisted that qualifying through a playoff, “Does not define our status,”

FC Porto will face Spanish club Malaga in the second leg of their Champions League matchup on Wednesday night. Vitor Pereira’s club go into Spain with a slight lead after defeating Malaga 1-0 on a goal by João Moutinho in the first leg.

Pereira told media on Tuesday that is club will not sit comfortably on their slight advantage. “Our club do not defend just to get a result. Our DNA is clear: We like to have the ball in order to control the game, we like to press and disrupt the opposing team’s game plan. We are extremely competitive and ambitious,” Pereira said.

“Malaga is behind a goal and we know that if we score first, we will put enormous pressure on them. Our objective is to score goals and I believe we will score at La Rosaleda,” Pereira added.

Porto will welcome back Moutinho and central defender Eliaquim Mangala who have each missed recent matches due to injury. Highly taunted winger James Rodriguez will also be available for the Cidade Invicta side as they hope to advance.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Paolo Camera

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Paolo Camera

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo will make his first appearance at Old Trafford since leaving for Real Madrid in 2009. Ronaldo and the rest of Los Blancos will face Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League tie on Tuesday night.

The Seleção captain has previously described what this match means to him on a personal level and even discussed the possibility of scoring on his return to Old Trafford.

“It would be a beautiful sensation,” … “If I score against them, it would be spectacular. I can’t say how I’d celebrate – it would be something spontaneous – but I’d love to be in that situation.”

His former manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stressed that his team will have to do more to contain Ronaldo after he scored a towering header in the first leg in Madrid.

“I don’t think it is one we should fear. If we go out fearing the damage Cristiano can do us then we will forget what we can do. We [the management] must trust them and they must trust each other; that is why we have continuous success,” Ferguson told media Monday.

Manchester United go into the match with a slight lead on away goals after drawing 1-1 with the Spanish club on February 13th. Ferguson tried to portray the match-up as a meeting of two European heavyweights.

“As a European night I don’t think you get any bigger than this one,” the United manager said. “It is set up to be a potentially marvellous game and I don’t think it will be a disappointment either.”

Full Squad

Goalkeepers Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (BB Istanbul), Rui Patrício (Sporting)

Defenders João Pereira (Valencia), Miguel Lopes (Sporting), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Luís Neto (Zenit), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Sereno (Valladolid)

Midfielders João Moutinho (FC Porto), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Custódio (Braga), André Gomes (Benfica), Ruben Amorim (Braga), Danny (Zenit)

Forwards Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Éder (Braga), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo La Corunña), Silvestre Varela (Porto)

A Seleção are hoping to get back on track after some recent disappointing performances against Russia, Northern Ireland and Gabon. Manager Paulo Bento will welcome back Fábio Coentrão and Raul Meireles after both have missed time with injuries.

Real Madrid defender Pepe underwent ankle surgery and will not play. Striker Hugo Almeida and Braga midfielder Ruben Micael were on the original squad announced on Friday, but have pulled out because of injuries as well. Sporting Lisbon defender Miguel Lopes injured his shoulder Saturday in a game against Rio-Ave and could face miss the match.

Benfica midfielder André Gomes and striker Nelson Oliveira replaced Almeida and Micael on the squad. The 19-year-old Gomes receives his first call up for the national team after a number of excellent performances for Benfica. Centre back Henrique Sereno who is playing on loan with Real Valladolid from Porto also received his first call-up. And Zenit midfielder Danny also returns after a long absence due to injury.

Deportivo’s Pizzi who scored in Portugal’s last match against Gabon was not called up. Neither were Braga’s Hugo Viana and Besiktas’ Manuel Fernandes. Portugal face a Ecuador squad that currently rank a surprising 12th in the FIFA ranking, the highest in the country’s history.

They are currently second to Argentina in South America World Cup qualifying despite the fact that they only have 4 players who play in European leagues: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Christian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse) and Felipe Caicedo (Lokomotiv Moscow)

They should pose a formidable challenge for a Portugal team that has a recent history of underperforming against less talented squads. Paulo Bento has been under increased pressure to mix new players into his starting XI.

Look for Sporting Braga’s Éder to play along side Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo in place of Helder Positiga. This will be the 25-year-old’s fifth cap and he seems destined to break out on the national team after a good performance against Gabon. Seleção fans will also be keen to watch Gomes and Luis Neto who could receive their first caps.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

The first ‘O Clássico’ of the season between the top two clubs in Portuguese futebol will take place in Lisbon Sunday. Over recent years, Porto has been the favourite going into these games but this year things are a little different.

Both teams remain undefeated so far in the Liga Portuguesa, but Benfica lead the table by three points because they have played one more game than the Cidade Invicta side. But Porto’s highly ranked Colombian winger James Rodriguez is out with a torn muscle and will miss the game.

Benfica’s good form, combined with Rodriguez’s absence have lead some to call the capital club the slight favourites. But, manager Jorge Jesus has downplayed the importance of the game.

“We will try to get the 3 points just like in any other game. We assign more important to this match because it is a Clássico and over the last few years the winner has won the league. But in my opinion I do not see it as that important,” Jesus told journalists.