Cristiano Ronaldo’s international team-mates will join him in Italy for the World Cup qualifier with Azerbaijan. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp all suggested they would ask their stars to skip duty to avoid the well documented quarantine period but the location change has allowed Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo and a host of others to travel more freely.
Where and when: Allianz Stadium, Turin – 24 March, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Portugal vs. Azerbaijan: Sky Sports Red Button
Last time: Bruno Alves and Hugo Almeida were on the scoresheet almost eight years ago.
Portugal v Azerbaijan Predictions and Preview
Fernando Santos’ Premier League contingent make up a large part of his squad and the EURO 2016 victors are firmly in the running for more silverware over the next 18 months. Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, Cancelo and Fernandes will definitely feature and the Blues contingent could still scoop a quadruple this term.
Dias had enjoyed a similar impact to Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool, while Cancelo has been the standout performer in his position in England ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Reece James.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Bernardo Silva to score anytime||13/5||Offer|
|Portugal to win 4-0||24/5||Offer|
|Over 4.5 goals||5/4||Offer|
Fernandes has an astonishing 23 goals and 12 assists this campaign with Manchester United and is 9/2 to break the deadlock. The Red Devils fan favourite will link up with Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva to support legendary compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo who recognises the current generation of Seleção talent is the best in his 20-year career.
The Juventus ace has struck on 102 occasions for his country and is eight away from eclipsing Ali Daei’s all-time international record. Ronaldo is 15/4 to open proceedings and historically fares well against the lesser ranked nations.
Joao Felix is 11/4 to register anytime and the £118m Atletico Madrid recruit is fortunate to get the nod ahead of Andre Silva. Only Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland have netted more in the Bundesliga than the former Porto youngster, who has revived his fortunes after a bad spell at Milan.
The Baguim do Monte native is 6/1 to notch last and his stunning form has not gone unnoticed with Diego Simeone, Manchester United and Barcelona all monitoring him. The Seleção are 1/33 to clinch victory.
Azerbaijan picked up creditable draws against Slovenia and Montenegro last November but Portugal pose a completely different threat. Gianni De Biasi’s troops are a whopping 75/1 to pull off their biggest ever triumph and a stalemate is 18/1.
One to watch for Portugal: Diogo Jota has been a revelation since moving to Liverpool from Wolves and the attacker’s versatility should guarantee he is in Santos’ 23-man party this summer. Jota is 7/1 to score last.
One to watch for Azerbaijan: Ramil Sheydayev is 14/1 to score anytime and has decent pedigree. The big striker has turned out for Zenit St. Petersburg, Trabzonspor and Dynamo Moscow.
Long shot: Portugal hit Andorra for seven in a tune up before the heavyweight Nations League encounter with France and a repeat of the same outcome is 18/1. Santos is missing Rui Patricio, Ricardo Pereira, Daniel Podence, William Carvalho and Goncalo Guedes and it is testament to the strength in depth at the veteran’s disposal, the hosts on the night will not miss the quintet.