Build up to the match
The 2018 World Cup in Russia are in the brink of missing out on having Cristiano Ronaldo. Indeed, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner and his home country are currently in second place, three points adrift of first-place Switzerland with one game left to play – and both are set to go head to head on Tuesday. Only the top spot wins automatic qualification. It doesn’t get any more high-stakes than this. It’s winner take all and the whole world will definitely be watching.
Kickoff: Tuesday, 10th October 2017, 7:45PM local time
Venue: Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal
Real Madrid magician and team captain Cristiano Ronaldo will no doubt be the first name on the team sheet, providing lethal accuracy, pace, and flair in attack. The volatile Pepe will surely play a role in defence while intelligent midfielder Joao Moutinho and sturdy anchor-man William Carvalho will keep things solid in the middle of the pitch.
Juventus defender and captain Stephan Lichtsteiner will definitely take his spot on the field in defence, providing a very solid back line for the Swiss. Milan centre-back Ricardo Rodriguez could be another option. Playmaker Granit Xhaka will look to pull the strings in midfield, while either Erin Derdiyok or Haris Seferovic could lead the front.
The Seleccao are undefeated in their last five qualifying games, and will look to ride that momentum into their final qualifying game against Switzerland in their hometown. The Portuguese have kept a clean sheet in six of their last eight games. If they can keep the pace up against the visitors on Tuesday, then automatic qualification to the final stage in Moscow will be secured.
Switzerland will be bolstered by the fact that they were the only ones who were able to defeat Portugal in their group for qualification, with that comprehensive 2-0 victory at St Jakob Park last year still fresh in the minds of their players. If they can repeat their performance then against Portugal come Tuesday, then the Rossocrociati will book for themselves a ticket to Moscow.
The Ronaldo factor, the high-intensity winner-take-all atmosphere, the boisterous Estadio da Luz home crowd. It will be dogged, it will be tight, it will be fierce – but there is only one outcome: a Portugal win. Anything else will be unacceptable for the home side, and a truly magnificent result for Switzerland.
Portugal 2-1 Switzerland