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How Portugal could line up against Ghana

How Portugal could line up against Ghana

Portugal attacker Cristiano Ronaldo has declared himself fit and ready to go for Thursday’s World Cup 2022 Group H opener with Ghana at Stadium 974 in Doha.

Amid intense speculation surrounding his Old Trafford future, the Manchester United man missed last week’s friendly win over Nigeria due to illness but told reporters earlier this week that he is fully recovered.

Fernando Santos has affirmed that Ronaldo must earn his place in the XI like every other player, but it would be a monumental shock not to see the 37-year-old spearhead the attack this week.

Ronaldo will expect to be supported by Bernardo Silva on the right, while in-demand AC Milan starlet Rafael Leao can feel confident of fending off the likes of Joao Felix and Otavio to complete the attacking trident.

Bruno Fernandes came up with a first-half brace in the recent win over Nigeria and should headline a midfield comprised of Ruben Neves and William Carvalho, as Danilo Pereira and Matheus Nunes warm the bench.

Pereira is more than capable of filling in at the back, but 39-year-old veteran Pepe should link arms with Ruben Dias as a man 20 years his junior in Antonio Silva drops down to the bench.

Joao Cancelo and Raphael Guerreiro will hope to come up trumps in the intense battle for full-back spots with Diogo Dalot and Nuno Mendes, while Diogo Costa has seemingly taken over first-choice duties from 105-cap veteran Rui Patricio.

Portugal possible starting lineup: Costa; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Neves, Carvalho, Fernandes; B. Silva, Ronaldo, Leao

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