A look back at Portugal’s thrilling opening match against Spain and a look forward to Game Two for the Seleção against Morocco on Wednesday, comprises the latest PortuGOAL podcast.

Matthew Marshall, Patrick Ribeiro and Tom Kundert discuss how the stunning 3-3 draw against the Spaniards may impact on the Seleção going forward in the tournament.

With the aid of questions sent in from listeners, we then speculate about whether Fernando Santos will stick to a similar line-up against the North Africans or ring the changes.

    

Related: Portugal snatch late point in 3-3 thriller against Spain

 

Comments (15)

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I'd play the same team, formation and tactics.
They look strong and Cristiano is obvs up for it!

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Saying that I wouldn't play Joao Mario from the bench and I'm not convinced by Fonte. Is Ruben Dias ready yet?

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Same lineup for the most part. We don’t know if Dias is mentally ready for a start but he looks to be poised to do so. I won’t be comfortable unless if we win out given Iran already having 3pts. I’d like to see Gelson used by the 65th minute if...

Same lineup for the most part. We don’t know if Dias is mentally ready for a start but he looks to be poised to do so. I won’t be comfortable unless if we win out given Iran already having 3pts. I’d like to see Gelson used by the 65th minute if the game is tied and Morocco parks the bus. There’s no answer to defending him, he’s just simply faster than everyone on the field. João Mario can start over Moutinho because he’s quicker and can cover more ground. It’s going to be an intense game because if you’re Morocco, you don’t want to go out of the World Cup with 0 points. A draw against us will at least give them something to take away from this. I think they know they won’t be Spain so I expect this game to be highly competitive but really what the hell do we know about any of this haha.

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Based on the opposition and what they present, i see some slight changes but nothing major. The only major changes would be if moutinho ia dropped for more offensive mid, santos wants more attacking rb in pereira and wether gueses moves left and...

Based on the opposition and what they present, i see some slight changes but nothing major. The only major changes would be if moutinho ia dropped for more offensive mid, santos wants more attacking rb in pereira and wether gueses moves left and adre silva comes in. Thats all i see...maube an outside chance that quarrsma gets a nod....martins might be a interesting change for b.silva if he sticks with cedric. Santos could use a diamond as well in mid.

My options based on formation:

442 flat with a no10

Patricio
Cedric pepe fonte guerreiro
B.silva william moutinho guedes
Ronaldo b.fernandes

433
Ricardo pepe fonte guerriero
B.fernandes william moutinho
Martins ronaldo guedes

442 diamond

Ricardo pepe fonte guerreiro
William
B. Silva guedes
Fernandes
Ronaldo a.silva

U might see jmario operate in mid or quaresma replace one of the wide men in any of these...if u wanted be be really offensive....b.fernandes would take moutinho role b.silva would move into no10 role amd martins or quaresma play on the right...would love that...balance a question though...

442
Ricardo pepe fonte guerriero
Quaresma william b.fernandes guedes
b.silva
Ronaldo

B.silva would have to drop in mid to cover fernandes if he makes runs in box.

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If this was any of the recent donkeys (Bento, Queiroz) coaching Portugal I would be worried but not with Santos. Our “mister” has shown time and time again his football IQ is very high. He will address the issues and put forth the correct lineup....

If this was any of the recent donkeys (Bento, Queiroz) coaching Portugal I would be worried but not with Santos. Our “mister” has shown time and time again his football IQ is very high. He will address the issues and put forth the correct lineup. Best thing is the players respect him so much they don’t sulk and moan in the background, they support the decision and cheer on their team mates. It’s a huge difference from past squads. This is down to Fernando Santos consistent and intelligent management and the leadership of Ronaldo.

If the other players had played to their normal level (Bernardo and Guedes specifically) we are not having this tactical conversation but they were poor. Due to formation or nerves doesn’t really matter at this point.

I don’t forsee many chances, I think like most people I would expect Joao Mario in and maybe Andre Silva in as the traditional CF. I would expect Bruno F to give space to Mario and I don’t know who leaves for Guedes, depends on formation.

Also I think our biggest underachiever is not Fonte or Guedes. Moutinho had a hell of a game. The worst performer was (sadly not for the first time) Bernardo Silva. Hopefully that gets straightened out quick because Portugal NEEDS him at 100% usual Bernardo level. He has been a passenger most games. We have some dynamite options if Bernardo doesn't get his head on straight.

On Dias, throwing kids out to a league game vs Estoril is one thing but throwing Dias out in the WC vs Morocco with hundreds of millions watching knowing if he screws up it would destroy his confidence possibly career ending, it not a good idea. Fonte was poor, he was downright awful on both goals from the Brasileiro turncoat Costa but he is still Fonte with Euro winning experience and EPL experience. You know what you will get from Fonte, we don’t know what Dias will do. That’s just my opinion.

I like Dias very much and the kid was a bright future. We saw Germany lose, Argentina and Brasil tie. The Portugal-Spain game is looking more and more like a huge point for us.

Is it time to hit the panic button and throw the kid Dias on? Not sure it is. Like Justin said though, what the hell do we know about any of this. I agree my friend, lets just trust in our manager and team and see what happens.

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I agree Bernardo was poor. He tried to take on way to many defenders at once quite a few times. I preferred that Gelson started this game for his pace on the counters.

Against Morocco, it is more of a 50/50 decision. If they are just going to...

I agree Bernardo was poor. He tried to take on way to many defenders at once quite a few times. I preferred that Gelson started this game for his pace on the counters.

Against Morocco, it is more of a 50/50 decision. If they are just going to park the bus, then Bernardo would be my choice. Also, we still should have pace with Guedes on other side.

If however, one thinks Morocco will attack, the best way to punish them would be with a speed counter, Gelson would be perfect for that.

Morocco needs to win. But I don't know how they will try to do that. Park the bus and try to get a 1-0 victory with a counter, corner or set piece? Or actively go after us? I am sure the coaching staff is well aware of the permutations and has a plan.

This is a huge game. If we win, we should be able to beat Iran and go forward, even as the first seed. The 2nd team of group A will not be that strong.

I think Santos will keep many things the same to try to keep continuity and just address the mistakes made. Drawing with Spain wasn't a bad performance, given we could have easily won.

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The first game was the first big stage WC for a lot of new youngsters. Understandable that they did not have the nerves playing against Spain the oldest team in this WC. They played with great intensity the fisrt 20 minutes and then lost it once...

The first game was the first big stage WC for a lot of new youngsters. Understandable that they did not have the nerves playing against Spain the oldest team in this WC. They played with great intensity the fisrt 20 minutes and then lost it once spain settled. We needed the sensational great CR to carry it on his shoulders. That defines his greatness with club and country in numerous occasions.

Hope Santos starts with the same line up and we need to see Bruno, Bernado, Guedes press Morroco throughout just like they did in a friendly with Algeria. Would like to see Andre Silva coming in early 2nd half. Pepe and Fonte have to be more agile with their marking especially during set pieces and corners

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Tactical change or a strategy for the next game against a team is a Managers game plan, but dropping a player based on his last game performance will make a player insecure. The manager needs to develop the required confidence in the players.

I...

Tactical change or a strategy for the next game against a team is a Managers game plan, but dropping a player based on his last game performance will make a player insecure. The manager needs to develop the required confidence in the players.

I would not bring in Ruben Dias for a big games. We need experience on the field, unless he is exceptionally good performer.

VIVA PORTUGAL

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Guedes needs to be moved to his natural position which is on the wing. If we want to get the best of him that’s where he should play but sadly Santos doesn’t see it that way. I think João Mário and André Silva are guaranteed for this game in...

Guedes needs to be moved to his natural position which is on the wing. If we want to get the best of him that’s where he should play but sadly Santos doesn’t see it that way. I think João Mário and André Silva are guaranteed for this game in place of Guedes and Bruno. Possibly Adrien for Moutinho. I hope this move doesn’t dent these young guys’ confidence. Fonte and Cedric are on a short leash. If they have a bad day again they have to be dropped. Period.

Getting 3 points is crucial here. We should also try and score as many goals possible as that could potentially decide who comes in what position in our group. It’s still early days but it’s looking like all the big teams (France, Brazil, Germany, Argentina) will be on the same side of the bracket. If Portugal come in 1st we will avoid all those teams until the final. If we come in second it will take multiple miracles for Portugal to get to the final. I hope these players realize that and go and kick ass unlike they did against Spain. Ronaldo is Superman but there’s still only so much he can do. Everyone else needs to step up big time.

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It'll be very interesting to see Santos' lineup for Morocco because he could react to the Spain match, inclusive of individual performances and lineups, in so many different ways. I have a feeling that Andre Silva will start, and I thought so...

It'll be very interesting to see Santos' lineup for Morocco because he could react to the Spain match, inclusive of individual performances and lineups, in so many different ways. I have a feeling that Andre Silva will start, and I thought so even before the Spain match because his style of play seems to fit matches in which Portugal has more possession and his teammates can try to pick him out in the box. I'd love to see both he and Guedes out there, likely at the expense of Fernandes' place.

I'd be both surprised and disappointed if Bernardo didn't start. He's clearly one of the most important and capable players on the team, having shown his world class for Portugal, Man City and Monaco. We can laud Portugal's depth all we want, but there's not a better option than Bernardo in his spot, and it's important to get him going (which won't happen if he's sitting on the bench). He'll thrive as Portugal has more possession and passing opportunities. Let him do some damage and then bring Gelson on late to torment the defense some more.

As for Dias, that's very tough. I expect Fonte to start again, which is probably the smart move - give him another chance to show if he's still capable to teaming with Pepe for a sequel to the Euro 2016 knockouts. It's a tough spot for Santos, though. Dias is young and inexperienced, but if you aren't confident starting him against Morocco on matchday two, when will you be confident starting/playing him? More importantly, if you don't start him now, would you then consider starting him against a better opponent in a higher intensity match (like Uruguay in the knockouts, or even an Iran match you need something from) if Fonte/Alves play terribly? You want to put Dias in the best position to succeed, but is it worth giving up on Fonte/Alves so soon? While the World Cup is different than the Primeira Liga, One of Ruben's first matches for Benfica's big club was against Manchester United in the Champions League and he held up well. With young guys, the sooner you can get them on the pitch to get rid of their WC nerves the better.

Joao Mario should start. He usually plays well for Portugal and looked in form during the pre-World Cup friendlies. Also, he just isn't an instant impact substitute - he's more valuable when he can get into the game from the beginning. Also, I really like and trust Cedric, but I think this is the perfect time to give Pereira the start and figure that spot out from there. Cedric has played enough for Portugal at this point to be reinserted as the starter without the bench time killing his confidence.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see the same lineup and I wouldn't be surprised to see Joao Mario, Andre, Ricardo, Bruno Alves, and Adrien start. Either way, I'm confident Santos will put plenty of thought into it, and I trust his decision-making at this point. Look what he did between the Hungary and Croatia games in 2016 - those were some fearless moves and they eventually won the tournament.

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Dias played in the Champ League so he isn't that inexperienced.

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Adrien Silva, Mario and Andre Silva should have played against Spain. Now there's not much point in point in making changes against Morroco who needs to win. Maybe some of the veterans like Fonte and Moutinho should be rested.

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This has to be the moment to start Ruben Dias. Fonte is a huge liability and I can't see Santos letting things ride here after his joke of a performance verses Spain. The game against Morocco comes with a safety net - win, lose, or draw. So let's...

This has to be the moment to start Ruben Dias. Fonte is a huge liability and I can't see Santos letting things ride here after his joke of a performance verses Spain. The game against Morocco comes with a safety net - win, lose, or draw. So let's take advantage of this and hope for the best. No matter what we'll need at least a point against Iran to qualify. There really isn't another opportunity.

Bernardo Silva has also been getting on my nerves, I'd give him the day off or use as a sub. Andre Silva to accompany C. Ronaldo now that group proceedings are likely to come down to goal difference, but keep Guedes out there too. We haven't yet seen what those three can put together. Joao Mario is likely to replace B. Fernandes who's on a yellow card. That's about it.

Patricio

Cedric---Pepe---Dias---Guerreiro
--------------Wiliam--------------------
-------Mario------Moutinho----------
----Guedes-----------------CR7-----
--------------Andre Silva-------------

Subs: Quaresma>Guedes Bernardo>J.Mario Adrien>Moutinho

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Agree about Dias.

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