Several bold selection calls worked in the veteran manager’s favor as the Selecao sidelined Switzerland on Tuesday. Gonçalo Ramos in the center of the stage with a hat-trick in a 6-1 rout.
That performance will leave Ronaldo on the bench once again, putting to the test Portugal’s claim that the 37-year-old will be happy to play a supporting role for the climax of the World Cup in Qatar.
Santos also ruled out Joao Cancelo against the Swiss, favoring Raphael Guerreiro and Diogo Dalot in the full-back positions with Nuno Mendes injured.
Danilo Pereira is a doubt to face Morocco but, even if he is fit, he may not be able to get Pepe out of the XI after his goal in the round of 16.
Otávio made a comeback and must continue in midfield, with a selection decision to be made between Ruben Neves and William Carvalho alongside him.
As for Morocco, Walid Regragui’s great success has been due in part to a very sharp line-up and approach.
Selim Amallah was picked for the penalty shootout win over Spain ahead of Abdelhamid Sabiri and should continue in the squad against Portugal.
Neither team has reported any further injury issues at this stage, with the game scheduled for Saturday at 3pm.
Morocco XI expected: bond; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Amrabat, Amallah, Ounahi; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal.
Expected Portugal XI: Coast; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerrero; Neves, Octavio; Silva, Fernandes, Felix; bouquets. .