The warm-up match, starting at 20:15 at the Estádio Algarve, will be Portugal’s second match against the Qataris in just over a month, after September 4, a national team beating the hosts of the next league championship 3-1. World, in game held in Hungary.
As in so many other occasions, the coach Fernando Santos has already defended that “there are no friendly matches”, but he made a point of remembering that there are several players who have overloaded games for their respective teams and that “the most important” is next Tuesday’s match on Thursday, with Luxembourg, the third from the bottom of qualifying for the Mundial2022.
Thus, it is predictable that Portugal will present itself with some “heavyweights” – even in order to prepare them for the reception of the Luxembourgers -, but also with some players who have been less used, such as Diogo Dalot, Rúben Neves, William Carvalho or Gonçalo Guedes.
In this second group there are even newcomers Matheus Nunes and Rafael Leão, who were called up for the first time and can add the first minutes for the main team, similarly to what happened with Otávio last month, who made his debut against Qatar and even scored one of the goals of the Portuguese triumph.
the goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who is part of the elected for the second time, but who has not yet had minutes of play, is another of the potential holders on Saturday, although it is natural that Fernando Santos bet on Anthony Lopes, regular substitute for Rui Patrício.
The coach has already had to change the squad twice this week, first being deprived of Domingos Duarte and Rafa, both with physical problems, and then seeing leave Raphaël Guerreiro, injured, and Francisco Trincão, who didn’t even do any training and was released. for having had a test with positive result for the new coronavirus.
With 24 players available, two need to stay out of the game sheet and, at this point, Diogo Jota appears as the main candidate, as he has had muscular complaints and still doesn’t do any training with his other teammates.
Bearing in mind that the aim is, above all, aimed at Luxembourg, it is believable that the Liverpool striker will be spared in front of the Qataris, who occupy the 43rd position in the FIFA ranking.
The Portuguese team will face Qatar, on Saturday, at the Estádio Algarve, where, three days later, they will host Luxembourg, in the penultimate meeting of the qualifying phase for the Mundial2022.
Portugal leads the qualifying group for next year’s World Cup, with 13 points, two more than Serbia (11), in second place, and seven more against Luxembourg (six), who are third, with one game less , ahead of the Republic of Ireland (two) and Azerbaijan (one).