Current UEFA Nations League champions Portugal play host to Croatia at the Estadio do Dragao on Saturday (7:45 pm kick-off) to mark the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
Fernando Santos lifted the inaugural cup with Portugal in 2018/19 after his side ousted the Netherlands in the Porto showpiece. He will now take his squad to the same venue to collide with 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia in a thunderous Group A3 matchup.
France and Sweden make up the other half of Group A3, completing a very ominous quartet, which only puts greater emphasis on the need for both these nations to come away with at least a point in this curtain-raiser.
Cristiano Ronaldo remains one goal shy of netting a century for Portugal, but will he finally reach that milestone against Croatia? Or can the Blazers subdue the Portuguese flame and upset the reigning champions?
Where to watch Portugal vs Croatia on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Red Button
- US: ABC
How to live stream Nations League: Portugal vs Croatia
US ONLY: Fubo* are streaming a selection of UEFA Nations League fixtures live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter your details.
- Log in and pick your desired channel to watch.
*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
Portugal & Croatia’s previous line-ups:
- Portugal (vs Luxembourg): Patricio; R. Pereira, Fonte, Dias, Guerreiro; D. Pereira, Silva, Fernandes, Pizzi, Ronaldo; Silva.
- Croatia (vs Slovakia): Livakovic; Jedvaj, Caleta-Car, Peric, Barisic; Modric, Brozovic, Rebic, Vlasic, Perisic; Petkovic.
There is a debut call-up for new Barcelona forward Francisco Trincao, who will be hoping to translate his club form with Braga to the international stage. Grenada centre-back Domingos Duarte will also be hoping to pick up his first cap after getting the nod from Santos.
Zlatko Dalic has named four uncapped players in his 24-man squad, including new Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Ivo Grbic. The towering 24-year-old joined the Spanish giants this summer from Zagreb-based Lokomotiva. Mallorca forward Ante Budimir has also been handed a seat on the plane.
Players to watch:
- Portugal: There is only one man all eyes will be cast on in Porto over the weekend, and that is the ever-brilliant Cristiano Ronaldo. As if the 35-year-old hasn’t broken enough records, he can become the first European player to net a century of international goals if he bags one against Croatia. Only one man has hit triple digits in the past, former Bayern Munich forward Ali Daei, who netted 109 for Iran. Ronaldo could now join the Iranian legend in the international pantheon for strikers when (not if) he brings up 100. Knowing Ronaldo, he will already be thinking about surpassing Daei.
- Croatia: He only featured in a Champions League final a couple of weeks ago, but it is straight back to business for Ivan Perisic. The Croatian winger was an inspired signing from Inter Milan last summer and was proving a real menace and livewire during the knockout rounds for Bayern Munich. He was unfortunate to lose his place to Kingsley Coman in the final, but that tactical tweak proved a masterstroke from Hansi Flick. Either way, Perisic was imperious in Portugal and Dalic will be hoping his talismanic forward picks up from where he left off in southern Europe.