Match Preview: Portugal vs Serbia

Iran v Portugal: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
SARANSK, RUSSIA - JUNE 25: Ricardo Quaresma of Portugal celebrates with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Iran and Portugal at Mordovia Arena on June 25, 2018 in Saransk, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Portugal host Serbia on Monday night, as Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates, chase their first win in the EURO 2020 qualifiers.

The European champions were held to a 0-0 draw in their opening Group B qualifier against Ukraine.

Cristiano Ronaldo played his first game since the World Cup, but the Portuguese star couldn’t find the net to secure three points for his country.

Serbia drew 1-1 in a friendly game against Germany in Wolfsburg on Wednesday night, as the Bundesliga sensation Luka Jovic scored his first goal for the national team.

Team news

As always, Portugal will look to Ronaldo to provide the spark in attack, as their captain has scored seven goals in his last 10 matches for the national team.

They don’t have any fresh injuries and their manager Fernando Santos has his best team available.

Aleksandar Mitrovic missed the draw with Germany but should return to the team, leading the attacking line for Serbia on Monday.

Nemanja Matic and Aleksandar Kolarov are not with the Serbian squad through injuries.

What did the managers say

Fernando Santos believes his players were unlucky in the game against Ukraine and deserved to win the three points.

“The team was good but did not win. We deserved to win,” he said via Goal. “The players tried, created situations, but we were not able to score.

Adebayor recalls how Mourinho ‘killed’ Ronaldo after he scored a hat-trick

Emmanuel Adebayor recalled on how Jose Mourinho 'killed' Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring a hat-trick for Real Madrid.

“This result will not result in any kind of blow, it will give us more strength for the game with Serbia. The players will rest and recover so we can win.

“Overall the team was well. We didn’t win, so you can never say that everything is fine, but we had good periods.

“Essentially, we failed to capitalise on the situations that we were able to create. The result is unfair, it doesn’t leave us satisfied, but we have to win the next games.”

Mladen Krstajic says that there is a tough game ahead of Serbia, but he is very happy with the atmosphere in the team.

“We played a friendly game against Germany and now we have a competitive one, but it is the same for us, as we want to win every game,” – said Krstajic via FSS.

“We’ll face the European champions, a very strong team, but we have a great atmosphere in the dressing room the players are professionals and they know what is ahead of them.”

Stats

These two countries have met four times before, and with 2 wins and 2 draws it is Portugal that remains unbeaten in the head to head record.

Both teams are unbeaten since the World Cup and won their UEFA Nations League groups.

Portugal have won 5 of their last 7 home matches in the EURO qualifiers.

Serbia haven’t qualified for a European championship since 2000 when they played as Serbia and Montenegro.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here