Portugal travels to Riga in search of a fifth successive victory in six games with a win over Latvia.
The Euro 2016 winners will make the trip to Russia for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup but first, they must deal with the small issue of obliviating Latvia in the Group B encounter of the European World Cup Qualifiers.
STREAMING OPTIONS: WHERE TO WATCH LATVIA VS PORTUGAL
Watch Cristiano Ronaldo live in action on Friday, June 9, 2017. The official live listings of selected countries below for the FIFA World Cup Qualifier are courtesy of LiveSoccerTV.com. Listed by country, alphabetically:
- Ghana at 6:45 PM UTC on Startimes Sports Premium
- India at 00:15 AM IST on Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD
- Nigeria at 7:45 PM WAT on Startimes Sports Premium
- Portugal at 7:45 PM WET on RTP 1
- Spain at 8:45 PM CET on Movistar+, Canal+ Multideporte 2
- UK at 7:45 PM BST on SKY GO Extra, NOW TV UK, Sky Sports Red Button, Sky Go
- UK, Sky Sports 5/HD UK
- USA at 11:45 AM PT/2:45 PM ET on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA, ESPN Deportes+ USA, ESPN Deportes USA
The Seleccao, despite losing to Switzerland in the open game of the group, have carried their impressive form from last year’s Euros into the qualifiers. Fernando Santos’ side has gone on a goal rampage; scoring six back-to-back goals against Andorra and Faroe Islands, before cruising to a 4:1 victory over Friday’s hosts in Portugal last November.
The European champions continued their remorseless agenda at their backyard against Euro 2016 group stage opponent, Hungary, by securing a 3:0 victory on March 25. And just as it happened in last year’s competition held in France, it was Cristiano Ronaldo who, yet again, stole the limelight with some incredible display.
The 32-year-old forward netted a brace against the Hungarians to take his total goal tally for the Portuguese national team to 70. At the moment, he is in top-notch form and is oozing with tons of confidence. The Seleccao skipper’s late season insurgency played a very vital role in Real Madrid’s successes in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
His performances need no further elaboration as the chagrin he bestowed on Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Juventus is still fresh in memory. Nevertheless, inhabitants of the Baltic country can breathe a minute sign of relief as Cristiano Ronaldo will, perhaps, start from the bench on Friday.
Portugal já treinou em Riga. Amanhã, 6ª feira, é dia de jogo! ?????? pic.twitter.com/6j8xie88Q1
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 8, 2017
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner joined up with the rest of the national team squad on Tuesday after his heroics in the Champions League final for Real Madrid in Cardiff, less than a week ago. Being aware of his star man’s ever-present hunger to lead the side to victory regardless their opposition, Coach Fernando Santos may give Cristiano the chance to do just that and, in the process, probably increase his nine-goal tally in the campaign so far.
Cristian Ronaldo is something else man guy has 9 goals in 4 qualifiers ??
— CORBYN FC (@YourBoyWazz) March 29, 2017
The Seleccao is highly impelled to maintain their hot streak as they look to leapfrog Switzerland to the top spot in order to avoid the World Cup play-offs. Considering the fact that Latvia has lost all of its last four internationals, and has just managed three points in five qualifying games, it will be overly surprising if the visitors do not walk away with a convincing victory.
WCQ Group B
Faroe Island 4
— PortugueseSoccer.com (@PsoccerCOM) June 9, 2017