MX23RW : Monday, June 27 08:32:10| >> :600:313263:313263:
[monks data]
Oct 9, 2021 at 8.15pm UK
3 - 0
Ronaldo (37'), Fonte (48'), Carvalho (90')
Carvalho (32')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Afif (29'), Afif (55'), Madibo (85')

Preview: Portugal vs. Qatar - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's International Friendlies clash between Portugal and Qatar, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Portugal will be looking to make it four victories in a row in all competitions when they take on Qatar in a friendly on Saturday night, with Estadio Do Algarve playing host to the contest.

Fernando Santos's side are currently top of Group A with 13 points from their five fixtures, while Qatar have automatically qualified for the 2022 World Cup as the host nation.

Match preview

Portugal manager Fernando Santos on June 15, 2021© Reuters

Portugal have impressed in Group A thus far, winning four and drawing one of their five matches to collect 13 points, which has left them top of the section, two points ahead of second-placed Serbia.

Santos's side recorded three straight wins during the September international break, beating Republic of Ireland and Azerbaijan in their qualification section, in addition to recording a 3-1 win over Qatar in a friendly.

Portugal have three more Group A fixtures against Luxembourg, Republic of Ireland and Serbia, and the Euro 2016 winners still have work to do if they are to secure their spot at next year's World Cup.

A Selecao have been present in each of the last five editions of the World Cup, but they have disappointed in recent years, being knocked out in the group stage in 2014 and only reaching the round of 16 in 2010 and 2018.

The Navigators cannot be written off due to the quality that they possess, though, and Santos will be desperate to get through this friendly without any injuries ahead of the key clash with Luxembourg on October 12.

Qatar's head coach Felix Sanchez Bas on June 7, 2021© Reuters

UEFA invited Qatar to participate in the European qualifiers in order to prepare for next year's World Cup, where they are the host nation, and the Maroon joined Group A with Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan.

Qatar won their first two friendlies against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan before drawing with Republic of Ireland in their third fixture in the section.

The World Cup 2022 hosts are winless in their last three, though, losing 4-0 to Serbia and 3-1 to Portugal at the start of September before drawing 1-1 with Luxembourg on September 7.

Felix Sanchez's side will be competing in the World Cup for the first time next year, and it will be fascinating to see how they compete with the very best teams in international football.

After tackling Portugal, Qatar will take on Republic of Ireland on October 12 before facing Serbia and Azerbaijan next month, with their preparations, in terms of this section, coming to an end.

Portugal International Friendlies form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Portugal form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Qatar International Friendlies form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Qatar form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal in June 2021© Reuters

Portugal will be unable to call upon attacker Francisco Trincao, who has tested positive for coronavirus, but a strong squad still includes the likes of Pepe, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Santos is expected to rotate due to the nature of the contest, as the national team have a much bigger game against Luxembourg three days later.

Diogo Dalot, Joao Mario, Andre Silva and Goncalo Guedes could all be in line for starts, with Ronaldo, Fernandes and Ruben Dias potentially making up what should be a very strong bench.

Qatar have plenty of goals in their squad, meaning that head coach Sanchez has decisions to make in the final third of the field, but it seems likely that the visitors will line up in a 4-4-2 formation.

Almoez Ali has scored 34 times in 64 appearances for his country and could be joined in attack by Akram Afif, who has struck 21 times in 68 caps for his national team.

Abdelkarim Hassan should win his 109th cap in a defensive area for Qatar, while there is expected to be a start for 22-year-old Mohammed Waad in the middle of the park.

Portugal possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dalot, Fonte, Pepe, Mendes; Mario, Neves, Moutinho; Jota, A Silva, Guedes

Qatar possible starting lineup:
Hassan; Salman, Al-Rawi, Hassan, Miguel; Al-Haydos, Waad, Hatem, Ahmed; Ali, Afif

SM words green background

We say: Portugal 2-0 Qatar

Portugal are not expected to be at full strength for this match, but the quality of the squad means that Santos will still be able to select a strong side. Qatar had their moments in the reverse clash with Portugal last month, but we are expecting the home side to record a relatively comfortable win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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