Portugal predicted lineup vs Switzerland - World Cup

Grey Whitebloom
Fernando Santos steered Portugal to the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup
Fernando Santos steered Portugal to the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Portugal are up against Switzerland in their World Cup round of 16 tie on Tuesday evening.

Fernando Santos is usually about as conservative in the press room as his teams are on the pitch. However, the 68-year-old gave in to a whisper of braggadocio when he said: “I have one trophy left to win; the best is yet to come… and it will come this year.”

Here's the XI Santos may deploy to take one more step towards that final trophy.

Portugal predicted lineup vs Switzerland (4-3-3)

Bruno Fernandes - Soccer Player - Born 1994
Bruno Fernandes has either scored or created four of Portugal's six goals in Qatar / Visionhaus/GettyImages

GK: Diogo Costa - Portugal's first-choice keeper was born in Switzerland, not moving to the nation he represents until he was seven.

RB: Joao Cancelo - The Manchester City fullback is surprisingly playing in his first major international tournament.

CB: Pepe - Two years older than Cristiano Ronaldo, the 39-year-old is the oldest outfield player that made it into the knockout round.

CB: Ruben Dias - After his first season at Manchester City, Dias became the first defender to be voted football writers’ men’s player of the year for 32 years.

LB: Raphael Guerreiro - The tournament-ending injury suffered by Nuno Mendes has all but ensured Guerreiro of a starting berth for the rest of the World Cup.

CM: Bernardo Silva - A regular for club and country, Pep Guardiola is a big fan of his Manchester City midfielder. “He’s a superlative player," the Catalan coach gushed. "As a player and as a person, he is one of the best I've had.”

CM: Ruben Neves - The Wolves midfielder watched the birth of his third child from the team bus on the way back from Crystal Palace last year.

CM: William Carvalho - The Angolan-born midfielder was given his debut by Paulo Bento - the coach that masterminded South Korea's victory over Carvalho and Portugal in their final group game.

RW: Bruno Fernandes - Paul Pogba's first impression of his former Manchester United colleague painted a loquacious picture. "He talks a lot, he talks so much, he has to speak.”

ST: Cristiano Ronaldo - After losing to South Korea, Santos claimed that one of the victors was "verbally aggressive" to Ronaldo. Portugal's captain supposedly tried to diffuse the situation by saying: "Perhaps he had a bad day." However, on an afternoon when the 37-year-old was at fault for the equaliser and subbed off before the winner, Ronaldo's day was far worse.

LW: Joao Felix - The wriggling Atletico Madrid forward has been fouled more frequently than any other Portuguese player in Qatar.

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