Portugal vs Liechtenstein : Lineups and LIVE updates
After A Seleção’s World Cup quarter-final crashout at the hands of dark-horses Morocco, Fernando Santos’ was straightaway handed the marching orders after eight years at the helm as head coach.
Santos was not one of the most liked of managers, but he guided Portugal to the first two major trophies of their history, lifting the Euros and the Nations League. Given his relatively fruitless work with Belgium's golden generation, Martinez certainly has big shoes to fill in, and prove naysayers wrong.
It is always crucial to begin the qualification campaign for a major competition with a win, and Portugal will try to achieve exactly that when they face an opponent that shouldn't provide much of a challenge.
Liechtenstein are the second-worst team in Europe, as per Nations League ranking, and come into this clash following a run of 10 straight competitive defeats, a streak that looks certain to continue here as they face ninth-ranked Portugal.
The visitors have lost all of their eight games in 2022, finishing dead-bottom of their Nations League D group, netting just one goal and shipping 11 against fellow-minnow nations Latvia, Moldova and Andorra.
Their dismal and hopeless form resulted in the sacking of manager Martin Stocklasa, with Rene Pauritsch currently taking the interim charge for this qualifier.
Portugal have fired 35 goals in seven previous meetings against this opponent, so expect plenty of goals at Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon.
Despite leaving European football in favour of a move to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, Cristiano Ronaldo remains the headline act for the Portuguese national side.
Indeed, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who is the all-time international leading goalscorer with 118 goals, has been called up by Roberto Martinez, and could feature in this game as he looks to break the record of most appearances in the international circuit, currently sitting on 196 caps. The 38-year-old will fancy himself to get on the score-sheet against the minnow nation as well.
Portugal are heavy favourites in this clash between the top and bottom seeds in Group J, which looks to be a total mismatch on paper.
Portugal vs Liechtenstein confirmed line-ups
Portugal XI (5-3-2): Patricio; Cancelo, Danilo, Dias, Inacio, Guerreiro; Fernandes, Palhinha, Silva; Ronaldo, Felix
Liechtenstein XI (5-3-2): Buchel; Wolfinger, Malin, Traber, Hofer, Meier; Frommelt, Weiser, Hasler; Gassner, Sele
Portugal vs Liechtenstein LIVE updates
Portugal upcoming fixtures
Portugal has qualified for all 12 major tournaments this century and should have little trouble keeping that record. With Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Slovakia, and Luxembourg rounding up Group J, it wouldn't be a surprise if they finish their qualification campaign with maximum points.
After facing Liechtenstein, they will make the trip to Luxembourg Stadium to face The Red Lions in another fixture where the Portuguese will enter as huge favourites.