Denmark v Portugal, 2010 World Cup qualifier, September 5, 2009
The time has come for Portugal to produce a big result in a World Cup qualifying campaign that looks likely to leave them on the outside. Could it really be that the worldâ€™s most expensive player fails to appear in South Africa 2010?
Former Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz has overseen a disaster in qualifying summed up by a 3-2 (28/1 to repeat the score) home defeat to Denmark eleven months ago. It wasnâ€™t just this result that has left the Portuguese with just nine points from six matches, seven behind the Danes who lead the group.
The home side will also be well aware that this is the perfect opportunity to knock the top team almost out of contention. With Hungary and Sweden playing on the same night this really could be a make-or-break evening.
Denmark will be relying on the attacking threat provided by the likes of Jon Dahl-Tomasson (11/4 to score), Nicklas Bendtner (7/1 to score first) and Martin Jorgensen. The loss of goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen to injury is undoubtedly a blow, as is the fact Daniel Agger will also be missing. But players such as Simon Kjaer (12/1 to score) and Lasse Schone will see this as the perfect opportunity to make a name for themselves and perhaps secure themselves and their national team a place at the World Cup.
Portugal will be packed with their usual experience with the likes of Deco (5/1 to score) and Ricardo Carvalho hoping to bring their early season form from Chelsea. Much will depend on Cristiano Ronaldo (5/4 to score), the Galactico has struggled somewhat to find his role so far at the Bernabeu, as can be expected following a move to a foreign country and the hefty transfer fee on his shoulders.
Hugo Almeida will miss the match due to injury but the mood around the Portuguese camp seems to be relaxed and positive, it will have to be if they are to take all three points and boost their whole campaign.
101gg predicts: Denmark 0 â€“ Portugal 2 (17/2)
Full match odds here.