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Group F’s top two teams will meet on Friday in Moscow. Both leaders have a 100 percent result for today.
Russia holds twelfth position in the FIFA World Rankings and Portugal goes the third. Russia qualified for Euro 2012 and failed on the group stage round and did not appear at the last World Cup.
Russia have scored fifteen goals in their last ten matches and conceded only five. Russia hade made a great start to Euro 2012 but did not qualify for the last eight. Portugal was at the last 16 in South Africa in 2010 and played in semi-finals of Euro 2012 against Spain. Portugal have scored fourteen in the last ten games and conceded eight.
Cristiano Ronald was one of the best players at the last Euro in Poland and Ukraine. He had great scoring records for Real Madrid but his international statistics is not so remarkable. Other leader Nani also had a great summer matches but he can find his play at Manchester United.
October 13 2004 is a big date for Portuguese and a nightmare for Russians, as they lost 7-1 in Portugal. So Fabio Capello’s players will want revenge and get three costly points.
Both teams want to qualify from the first place. So they have to make more pressure on results against each other.
Paul Bento has great news as that Cristiano Ronaldo fully recovered from his sprained shoulder injury that he suffered in El Clasico last Sunday. But his best defender Pepe is still doubtful.
Capello has left Arsenal’s winger Andrey Arshavin and Reading’s attacker Pavel Pogrebnyak out of the team. The Italian coach has a little success on the road to the World Cup in qualifying campaign. His team hasn’t conceded a goal in Group F matches, beating Northern Ireland 2-0 and Israel with the score 4-0. Portugal won Luxembourg with the score 2-1 and Azerbaijan with 3-0.
Russia line-up: Akinfeev, Anyukov, Ber’skiy, Ignashevich, Kombarov, Denisov, Shirokov, Faizulin, Dzagoev, Kerzhakov, Bystrov.
Last three matches:
Israel 0 – Russia 4;
Russia 2 – N. Ireland 0;
Russia 1 – Cote d’Ivoire 1.
Portugal line-up: Rui Patricio, Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao, Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo.
Last three matches:
Portugal 3 – Azerbaijan 0;
Luxembourg 1 – Portugal 2;
Portugal 2 – Panama 0.