When Portugal travels to Luxembourg on Sunday, they will be looking to make it two victories in a row in the Euro 2024 qualifying process.
They are on a roll with an unbeaten run of six matches in all competitions, showing remarkable progress in recent years.
Their first match in Group J was crucial as they looked to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in their history. With Portugal being the favorite to take the top spot, the race for the second spot is wide open, and a positive start was essential.
Luxembourg has come a long way in its football journey. In the most recent World Cup qualifying campaign, they won three out of eight matches, finishing level on points with the third-placed Republic of Ireland.
This impressive performance has given them the belief that they can push for a top-three spot in the group, even with the presence of teams like Slovakia, Iceland, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, who they don’t fear.
Luxembourg Form (All Competitions): D D W D D
It seems that the Portuguese Football Federation has appointed Martinez as the national team’s head coach to bring a more attractive and attacking style of football, in contrast to Santos’s more conservative approach.
The team is experiencing a new era of exciting young talent, with players like Joao Felix and Rafael Leao leading the charge. However, the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo remains a vital squad member, even after moving to Saudi Arabia in club football.
In Martinez’s debut game against Liechtenstein, Ronaldo demonstrated his worth with two goals in a comprehensive 4-0 victory.
Martinez will be eager to build on this momentum by securing a second win in Luxembourg. However, he understands that this match will be a stern test for his new set of players, despite being the clear favorites. The Luxembourg team has improved significantly in recent years, and Martinez must be tactically astute to avoid any potential upset.
Portugal Form (All Competitions): W W W L W
Luxembourg’s expected starting lineup:
Moris; Bohnert, Chanot, Gerson, Pinto; Sinani, Barreiro, Pereira, Olesen, Sanches; Rodrigues
Portugal’s expected starting lineup:
Patricio; Danilo, Dias, Inacio; Cancelo, Silva, Palhinha, Fernandes, Guerreiro; Ronaldo, Felix
Head to Head
Luxembourg and Portugal have played 12 matches against each other in the past, and unfortunately for Luxembourg, they have yet to secure a victory in any of those matches.
On the other hand, Portugal has won all 12 games, with none ending in a draw.
Time, Date, Venue
Date: Sunday, March 26
Time: 06:45 pm, UTC
Venue: Stade de Luxembourg stadium, Luxembourg city
It’s evident that Luxembourg has made significant progress under Holtz’s leadership, but they still have a long way to go to compete against teams of Portugal’s caliber consistently. As a result, Martinez and his team will likely be the favorites heading into their match against Luxembourg.