Portugal vs Turkey is the next match in the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers, playoff semifinals. It is going to be an intense affair at the Estadio do Dragao as FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification is at stake.
Portugal vs Turkey: Match Preview:
Portugal are one of the biggest nations still at risk of missing the 2022 World Cup and they start their qualifying playoff campaign with a semi-final against Turkey.
The winners will play either Italy or North Macedonia for a place at the Qatar tournament, meaning one of the two most recent European champions are certain to miss out.
Portugal are, of course, spreaheaded by talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be desperate to lead his country at what would surely be the last World Cup of his career.
Turkey were highly-fancied dark horses at Euro 2020 last summer but bombed out with a dismal group stage showing and will be keen to make amends.
Portugal do not lack talent, and under-pressure manager Fernando Santos has named a strong squad. Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio, the Manchester United trio of Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester City stars Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva and Liverpool attacker Diogo Jota are among the players included.
Porto midfielder Vitinha is in line to earn a debut cap, alongside Lille centre-back Tiago Djalo and Sporting CP centre-back Goncalo Inacio. It is slightly surprising to see Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Jose Sa not included, though. Sa can currently claim to be the best Portuguese goalkeeper. Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias is out injured, while Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo is suspended, while experienced Porto centre-back Pepe has COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Turkey too have some exciting players. Atalanta centre-back Merih Demiral, Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, Marseille winger Cengiz Under, Inter Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu and Lille’s experienced striker Burak Yilmaz have been named.
Recent form in all competitions:
3-0 win over Azerbaijan
3-0 win over Qatar
5-0 win over Luxembourg
0-0 draw against Republic of Ireland
2-1 loss against Serbia
6-0 loss against Netherlands
1-1 draw against Norway
2-1 win over Latvia
6-0 win over Gibraltar
2-1 win over Montenegro
Portugal vs Turkey: Possible Line-ups:
Portugal (4-3-3): Rui Patricio, Diogo Dalot, Goncalo Inacio, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, Joao Moutinho, Matheus Nunes, Danilo Pereira, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Goncalo Guedes
Turkey (4-4-2): Ugurcan Cakir, Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Caglar Soyuncu, Ridvan Yilmaz, Abdulkadir Omur, Hakan Calhanoglu, Dorukhan Tokoz, Muhammed Kerem Akturkoglu, Burak Yilmaz, Cengiz Under