Euro 2020 Qualification: Portugal squad list and predicted lineup
Defending champions Portugal are all set to open their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a home fixture against Ukraine at the Estadio da Luz followed by another fixture against Serbia at the same venue. Unlike other managers, Fernando Santos has all the players he called up for the national team fully fit and available, with no injury concerns amongst them.
Fernando Santos has kept the core of his side intact, with 8 of the players who started the final in 2016 against France back in the squad. The return of talisman and captain Cristiano Ronaldo is the biggest news in the Portuguese camp, with the Juventus man yet to feature for the country since the 2018 World Cup.
The squad though has undergone many changes as well, with 13 new faces in the squad compared to the title-winning one in 2016. Amongst the new faces, Diogo Jota, Dyego Souza and Joao Felix are yet to be capped at the national level.
Full Squad List
Goalkeeper: Beto,Jose Sa, Rui Patricio
Defenders: Joao Cancelo, Jose Fonte, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphel Guerreiro, Mario Rui, Nelson Semedo
Midfielder: Danilo, Ruben Neves, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandez, Joao Mario, Joao Moutinho, Pizzi
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Goncalo Guedes, Rafa Silva, Andre Silva, Diogo Jota, Dyego Souza, Joao Felix
The defending champions have switched from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-3-3 formation since the World Cup, with 4-1-4-1 the being used in certain matches. Fernando Santos though might revert back to his 4-4-2 formation with Cristiano Ronaldo now back in the squad for the first time since the World Cup.
Rui Patricio is a sure starter between the goalposts with the experienced Pepe and the young Ruben Dias likely to form the central defensive pairing. Joao Cancelo is a sure starter in the right of the defence, with Mario Rui and Nelson Semedo providing a big headache with regard to choice on the left side.
The midfield is another area where Santos will have a headache, with the returning Joao Moutinho providing a big selection problem to the 64-year old. Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho might partner up, with the duo sharing the field for Wolves this season.
In the case of a 4-3-3, William Carvalho may be opted for ahead of the rest as the third midfielder, with the Betis man providing the defensive cover. The right wing is another area where Santos will have no issue in selection, with Bernardo Silva putting in some exceptional displays for Manchester City.
Raphael Guerreiro is likely to start up front with Ronaldo and Silva, with the 25-year old now used more as a winger than as a defender in his time with Dortmund.