Ace Football previews the World Cup qualifier between Luxembourg and Portugal, and offers the latest stats, tips, and team news.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal play their final World Cup qualifier of the international break away to Luxembourg on Tuesday night.
A controversial 2-2 draw with Serbia on Saturday cost Portugal the chance to become sole leaders in Group A, while Luxembourg snatched a surprise 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland on the same day to move into third-place.
Beating the Irish in Dublin was impressive, but can the hosts do the same against Portugal? Ronaldo and co will surely be fired up for this one and have won each of their last 10 rounds against Luxembourg since 2004.
Luxembourg Form & Stats
After a 1-0 friendly defeat to Qatar, Luxembourg bounced back in style on Saturday. Gerson Rodrigues’ brilliant strike in the 85th-minute sealed a 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. It ensured a winning start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, and a first away qualifying win since 2008.
Luc Holtz’s side showed a lot of grit and determination to hold off the Irish. They were the clear underdogs for the tie, yet left the Aviva Stadium with all three points in only their seventh World Cup qualifier victory since 1934. The aim now is to pull off a repeat against Portugal, a team they’ve fared terribly against in the past.
Home advantage may count for little in this one, though. Luxembourg have lost seven of their last 11 matches in all competitions (W2 D2) at the Josy Barthel and suffered back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Portugal on their own turf in 2019 and 2015.
Key Team Stats
- Won only 1 of their last 5 games in all competitions (D1 L3).
- Lost 7 of their last 11 home games in all competitions (W2 D2).
- Lost each of their last 5 home games against Portugal and scored just 1 goal.
- Their only victory in 17 attempts against Portugal (D1 L15) came in October 1961 in a World Cup qualifier.
- Only scored 4 goals in their last 8 home games in all competitions.
- 1 red card shown in 4 of their last 7 games in all competitions.
Portugal Form & Stats
Two headers from Diogo Jota left Portugal in control of their World Cup qualifier against Serbia. Three points were in the bag until drama struck in the second half. First, the Navigators blew a two-goal lead to allow Serbia back into the match. And then Cristiano Ronaldo had an injury-time winner controversially ruled out, much to his and the team’s chagrin.
But now it’s time to turn attention to the Luxembourg match. History favors Portugal big time in this fixture, having won their last 10 showdowns and kept nine clean sheets. And given their sound record away from home, another victory is expected even though Bruno Fernandes is suspended. It’s an opportunity to stamp their authority in Group A.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, is determined to end the international break on a high. The Portugal captain has scored in each of his last two encounters against Luxembourg and has that uncanny ability to strike back when the chips are down. That recent hat-trick against Cagliari in Serie A for Juventus is a typical example.
Key Team Stats
- Won 7 of their last 11 away games in all competitions (D3 L1).
- On a 10-match winning run against Luxembourg in all competitions.
- Kept a clean sheet in 9 of their last 10 games against Luxembourg in all competitions.
- Averaged 8.6 corner-kicks, 19.4 shots, and 1.6 yellow cards in their last 5 games in all competitions.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in each of his last 2 games against Luxembourg in all competitions.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has managed 15 goals and 3 assists in his last 11 World Cup qualifiers.
Out: Bruno Fernandes, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Rui Patricio.
Doubts: Joao Moutinho.
Luxembourg (4-1-4-1): Moris; da Graca, Chanot, Mahmutovic, Jans; Pereira; V. Thill, O. Thill, Barreiro, Rodrigues; Sinani.
Portugal (4-3-3): Lopes; Cedric, Duarte, Dias, Mendes; Sanches, Pereira, Neves; Felix, Ronaldo, Jota.
Head-To-Head Record (World Cup only)
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in the World Cup.