Cristiano Ronaldo to Return? Portugal Predicted Lineup vs Morocco

Portugal is determined to keep their impressive Qatar World Cup run going when they face the underdogs of the tournament, Morocco. See Last Word on Football’s Portugal Predicted Lineup vs Morocco for their World Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday.

Portugal Predicted Lineup vs Morocco

How Portugal Has Lined-up Recently

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has not been scared of making changes under pressure at the World Cup so far. Cristiano Ronaldo, for one, saw himself surprisingly benched in the 6-1 win over Switzerland in the Round of 16 encounter.

However, in the midfield, Portugal appears to have found the ideal combination. Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva are quintessential parts of adding creativity and energy. Joao Felix has also featured heavily, adding this shadow striker role where his role is more often to help teammates get through into the box than score goals himself.

Goncalo Ramos is likely to retain his role as their no.9 after scoring a hattrick in his debut World Cup game. Otavio and William Carvalho add more mobility and sturdiness to the midfield – while the backline is quite well set up as well. A 39-year-old Pepe is still leading from the front in commanding a tight backline that barely allows the opponents to cause trouble.

Portugal Recent Form

Portugal enjoyed a pretty good run of form before venturing into the Qatar World Cup. They played nine games in the calendar year of 2022, winning six of them and only losing twice. Santos’ side was given the favorites tags for the competition and did not let their fans down.

It wasn’t easy for them at all, but Santos’ side showed admirable character to win their first two games in the group stages against Ghana and Uruguay. They ended up suffering a surprising loss to South Korea in the final group game but still managed to top their group.

Santos made a huge decision to bench Ronaldo in the Switzerland game, which paid off handsomely. Portugal absolutely steamrolled the Swiss side to pick up a huge 6-1 win, giving themselves a massive surge in momentum heading into the quarter-finals.

Portugal Tactics

Portugal has actually been really flexible and dynamic with their playing style, making them difficult to shut out in the competition. Santos’ decision to rotate around his squad and urge his players to interchange positions have kept the opposition sides guessing and unable to find a plan to neutralize their threat.

While the general consensus was that the majority of the Portuguese side’s focus will be on Ronaldo, it has been quite the opposite. Cristiano being benched for the last game is proof that they aren’t reliant on him anymore. Ramos, to his credit, proved himself as a brilliant finisher with some really well-taken finishes in the last game.

But a lot of credit is also due to those behind him. Felix has been playing his rotating, free role really well – getting into the pockets of empty space to open up opportunities for others. Bruno Fernandes is also given the freedom to roam around in the final third – with his threatening delivery and smell for goals helping the Portuguese side. Bernardo Silva’s elasticity in midfield, and ability to get past bodies and play the threatening final third passes have definitely helped his side.

Portugal has gained a reputation for being defensively strong under Santos and has kept that in bright light at the World Cup. Pepe is still playing a major role in that, as he’s the one glueing their backline together and commanding others to maintain their positions. The experienced Ruben Dias is another vocal and decisive figure, getting into the right areas to clear away the danger.

Diogo Dalot is really dynamic on the right, going up and down to contribute on both sides. Raphael Guerrero also loves getting into the attacking areas, often getting into the box as well – which helped him score against the Swiss side. Portugal is really well-drilled and has a lot of variety in their attacking style, which should help them trouble Morocco and possibly help end their fairy-tale run at the World Cup.

Portugal Injuries to Consider

Portugal has suffered some injury issues at the World Cup so far. Their left-back Nuno Mendes has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament after getting injured at the group stages. Danilo Pereira is also unlikely to play in the next game due to injury problems.

Portugal Predicted Lineup vs Morocco

Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerrero, William Carvalho, Otavio, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos

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