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Russia top Group A after their opening-day win over New Zealand, while Portugal started with a 2-2 draw against Mexico

Written by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 20, 2017.

The hosts Russia are going to try to defend their leading position in Group A at the FIFA Confederations Cup tomorrow when they will face the European champions Portugal. Spartak Stadium in Moscow is already sold out and the expectations for the game are high in terms of entertainment.

Russia shouldn’t take anything for granted after beating New Zealand in their opening game and should also be aware that this time they are facing a more challenging opponent in Portugal. Russians are likely to let the Portuguese take the initiative and rely more on counter attacks. The side will go into the game with none of their players threatened by yellow-card suspensions.

Portugal’s head coach Fernando Santos has announced that he wants to rotate his team as the tournament goes on, but if he wants to give his main players a rest in the last group game against New Zealand, they need to beat Russia. Andre Gomes and Adrien were booked in the first game and are now just one yellow card away from a one-match ban.

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is set to make his 100th appearance for his country.

Here are the possible lineups:

Russia:  Igor Akinfeev; Igor Smolnikov, Georgy Dzhikiya, Viktor Vasin, Fedor Kudryashov, Yury Zhirkov; Denis Glushakov, Aleksandr Erokhin, Aleksandr Golovin; Dmitry Poloz, Fedor Smolov.

Portugal: Rui Patricio; Raphael Guerrero, Bruno Alves, Jose Fonte, Nelson Semedo; Andre Gomes, Gelson Martins, William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Andre Silva, Ronaldo.