Portugal start their FIFA World Cup campaign with a tricky game against Ghana on Thursday, as the Cristiano Ronaldo situation takes a back seat.
Not a Manchester United player anymore, Ronaldo will feature in his fifth World Cup campaign amidst the saga surrounding the exit from Old Trafford. While a lot of his teammates have been asked about it, they have cut confident figures and the Ghana game will be a stern test of their focus.
The African outfit didn’t qualify for the tournament in 2018 but they made it to the editions of 2006, 2010 and 2014. The quarter-finals in 2010 is the farthest that they have been to in the World Cup.
Portugal: Ronaldo should be fit to feature and despite an injury scare, Nuno Mendes will also be fit for the game. In a way, Fernando Santos will have a fully fit squad to pick from on Thursday.
Ghana: Otto Addo will also have a fully fit squad to pick from, with Thomas Partey and Kamaldeen Sulemana expected to start after being on the bench in the friendlies.
Last five games
Portugal possible starting lineup:
Costa; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Neves, Carvalho, Fernandes; B. Silva, Ronaldo, Leao
Ghana possible starting lineup:
Ati Zigi; Lamptey, Amartey, Djiku, Baba; Partey, Abdul Samed; Sulemana, Kudus, J. Ayew; Williams