Portugal will be looking to book their place in the knockout stages with one game to spare when they face Germany in Munich on Saturday evening in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championships.
Last time out, Fernando Santos’ side won 3-0 against Hungary with late goals in the last 10 minutes through Raphael Guerreiro and a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite underperforming for the large majority of the game, Portugal had enough quality to secure the win and that is something that Germany are lacking at the moment.
Joachim Low’s side have work to do in this fixture after suffering a narrow defeat to France thanks to Mats Hummel’s own goal. Germany will have to show more class against a confident Portugal team to keep their hopes alive and avoid exiting the tournament early.
Matthias Ginter has emerged as a doubt for Germany after being forced off with an injury in the latter stages of the France game. However, the centre-back is expected to be fit for the Portugal game.
Leroy Sane was the first substitute to feature in this tournament for Germany and it would not be a surprise to see him replace Kai Havertz who was uninspiring for large periods against the French.
Timo Werner and Emre Can are also options that could be changed but Low may not want to change too much from their loss on Tuesday.
As a result, Robin Gosens and Joshua Kimmich should line up again in the wing-back areas whilst Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry are likely to keep their places in the starting 11.
As for Portugal, Nuno Mendes carries a slight thigh problem and had to train away from the main group on Thursday, but there are no more fresh injury concerns amongst the camp.
Joao Cancelo pulled out of the tournament before their opening game against Hungary due to positive COVID-19 test. Diogo Dalot was called to replace him in their squad.
Santos could be tempted to make changes but a positive result against the Germans would allow him to rest key players ahead of the knockout stages.
It would be no surprise to see a similar starting 11 from the Hungary game with Rafa Silva and Renato Sanches possibly brought into the team due to their game-changing impacts against Hungary off the bench.
Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes are certain starters and Portugal will look to them in order to breach the German defence.
Germany possible XI: Manuel Neuer; Ginter, Hummels, Antonio Rudiger; Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos, Gosens; Sane, Muller, Gnabry
Portugal possible XI: Rui Patricio; Nelson Semedo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Guerreiro; Danilo, Sanches; Bernardo Silva, Fernandes, Diogo Jota; Ronaldo
Despite remaining unbeaten in all competitions in their last six, Portugal does not have a good record against the Germans in major finals, losing four of their last five meetings with their last win coming in the Euro 2000 tournament.
Germany will hope to use that to their advantage but their recent record does not give you confidence that they can overcome the reigning European champions.
The Germans have lost twice, drawn once and won three in their last six and it looks like they have struggled for creativity in recent games. Portugal will hope that this is their best chance of ending their bad luck against the Germans.
Ones to watch
Germany - Leroy Sane
Havertz struggled against France and it’s likely that Sane will replace him and for good reason.
Sane provides bags of pace, trickery and directness which could provide problems for Semedo.
Sane also has a goal in him and his delivery and ability to score from distance could prove to be vital for Germany’s attacking hopes.
Portugal - Cristiano Ronaldo
Dubbed as one of the greatest players to kick a football, Ronaldo announced his presence in the tournament with a double in the latter stages of the Hungary game.
Despite struggling through parts of the game, he still managed to play a big part in Portugal’s success and that should worry Germany.
At the age of 36, he runs and plays as if he was 10 years younger and Germany will have to watch him very closely to avoid damage being done to their defence.
Germany 4-0 Portugal (FIFA World Cup, 16/06/14)
Muller converted from the penalty spot in the opening 15 minutes before drilling home Germany’s third and tapping in their fourth to secure a hat-trick.
Hummels headed the second before going off with a knee injury. Portugal’s centre-back Pepe had a moment of madness when he appeared to have head-butted Muller, receiving his marching orders shortly after Germany’s second.
Muller’s hat-trick was the first of the tournament and Germany went on to win the World Cup that year, beating Argentina 1-0 after extra-time thanks to a late Mario Gotze volley.
Where to watch on TV
The match will be televised on ITV for free with kick-off at 5pm BST.
UK viewers will be able to watch the game on the ITV Hub where there will be a free live stream.
If any viewers can not watch the game then there will be full live text coverage of the full 90 mins on VAVEL.
What the managers have said
Portugal - Fernando Santos
According to Marca, Santos states that Portugal are not just a one-man team and comments on what they have to do against Germany.
On tactics against Germany: "We have to have the ball.
"We need to reach the final third but be careful when Germany has possession. They can be extremely dangerous."
On success being a team effort: "Portugal are a team, not just Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Portugal are proud of this team. I have to motivate them all, also those who are on the bench."
Germany - Joachim Low
According to SBNation, Low comments on what went wrong against France and what changes have to be made as well as the opposition Portugal.
On mistakes and tactical changes: “On Tuesday evening we were all disappointed because we lost bitterly to an unfortunate own goal. However, we reworked the game extensively, also with a view to what we have to and will do differently against Portugal.
“We had a good defensive performance against France, but didn’t create enough chances to score. We are optimistic that things will go better against Portugal.
“Tactically, we have to bring something new into the game, which means above all new offensive power. We have to react differently in some situations and occupy other spaces. The tactical changes have nothing to do with the system. Any player can implement any of these changes in any position. We were well organized defensively, so no major tactical changes are planned.”
On Portugal: “Portugal has remained structurally together since the Euro 2016. They are strong in aerial combat in defense and, above all, on the offensive. Portugal is not a one-man show by Ronaldo. You have four or five world-class attacking players.
“In terms of breadth, they are perhaps even better positioned than France. They are a team that also learns more about combinations at the highest level. Many of their players can hardly be separated from the ball
“In 2012, 2014, 2016, the entire game of Portugal was focused on Ronaldo. This is no longer the case. There are significantly more outstanding offensive players.”
Portugal ran out 3-0 winners in their last game against Hungary but they only got the opener in the 84th minute.
Germany lost their opener in the UEFA Euro Championship for the first time ever after their 1-0 loss to France which is a score line that flattered the Germans.
This is the first meeting between the two since the 2014 World Cup which ended on a sour note for Portugal with a red card and a 4-0 defeat.
Despite years of bad luck against Germany, a repeat score line is very unlikely and Portugal are likely to show their class again upfront.
Form can go out the window in major tournaments but if Germany’s performance against France is anything to go by then Portugal will secure a knockouts place with a win.
Predicton: Portugal 1-0 Germany