• Analysis

Match Preview: Lithuania vs Portugal

Iran v Portugal: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Getty Images

Lithuania will host the European champions to the LFF Stadium in Vilnius tomorrow evening at 20:45 (CET).

Portugal travel to Lithuania for their EURO qualifiers clash on the wings of an important 4-2 victory in Serbia last week.

It was their first win in the qualifying campaign, placing them in second with five points from three games. They are still eight points behind leaders Ukraine, with two games behind.

Lithuania, on the other hand, sits at the bottom of Group B, having won only a single point in four games in the European Qualifiers so far. Their only draw came at home against underdogs Luxembourg, after previously losing 2-1 to the same opponent.

Team news

Chennaiyin FC forward Nerijus Valskis has been left out, while Mantas Kuklys and Arturas Zulpa have been added to the squad, after not being involved in the previous set of qualifiers in June.

Arvydas Novikovas, Justinas Marazas, Karolis Chvedukas and Vaidas Slavickas are all sidelined through injuries for the home side.

Right-back Nelson Semedo will miss the game for Portugal, having picked up an injury in Belgrade against Serbia last Saturday.

Goncalo Guedes could keep his place in the starting XI after scoring in the last outing, with Joao Felix waiting for his chance on the bench.

Talk to the press

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos was happy with the win against Serbia, saying it is a big confidence-boost for the game against Lithuania.

“We showed a lot of creativity and attacking intent in a solid performance required to beat a very good Serbia side,” Santos told reporters afterwards.

“Getting the opening goal just before halftime was vital and in the second half we controlled the game. We stifled their excellent midfield and deserved the win.

“This win should boost our confidence ahead of Tuesday’s visit to Lithuania. Nothing less than a win will do because it’s a complicated group.”


This is going the be the first competitive encounter between Lithuania and Portugal and third meeting overall.

The European champions have won both of the friendly games against this opponent with a goal difference of 9-2.

Lithuania is a total disaster in the past year – they’ve registered nine defeats and only two draws since their 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka in July 2018.

Their last competitive win dates back to October 2016 (2-0 vs Malta). They’ve played 26 games across all competitions since then, noting two wins, four draws and 20 defeats.

Portugal are the reigning UEFA EURO champions and the current UEFA Nations League winners. They won two of the last four major tournaments they’ve appeared in.

Cristiano Ronaldo and the boys are unbeaten since June 2018, registering six wins and five draws in the process.