Santos urges Portugal to take control

Portugal boss Fernando Santos says his side need to take the game to the Czech Republic when the two sides meet in the Nations League on Thursday night (Portugal 1/3, Draw 9/2, Czech Republic 8/1 – Match Result).

Both sides will hope to maintain their unbeaten starts to the 2022/23 Nations League when they go to battle in Lisbon.

Portugal are unbeaten in four matches, winning three of those, including their 4-0 success against Switzerland last time out.

While the Czech Republic are unbeaten in three, they have drawn two of those matches, but they have proven to be a tough nut to crack of late. Jaroslav Silhavy’s side secured a 2-2 draw against Spain last time out, and Santos says his team cannot afford to overlook them.

He told the UEFA website: “We will need to be patient; we’ll have to be attentive. The Czechs were beating Spain and earned a draw in the end, and they beat Switzerland.

“It was not all by chance. Individual creativity will also be important. They are well organised and compact defensively.

“We need to be patient and wait for the right moment. We will not change our philosophy, though; we want to impose ourselves on the game.”

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Due to fixture congestion, both managers are set to make changes, with Portugal centre-back Pepe set to be rested.

Spain and Switzerland (Switzerland 3/1, Draw 5/2, Spain 19/20 – Match Result), who sit third and fourth in Group A2 behind Portugal and the Czech Republic, will meet in Geneva at 19:45.

Neither side has managed to secure a victory yet in their opening two games, and Switzerland are in danger of dropping into League B for the first time.

Murat Yakin’s men have failed to win any of their previous four matches, and they will be without centre-back Fabian Schar due to suspension.

Luis Enrique’s outfit are unbeaten in six, but after two draws so far in the Nations League, they will hope to lay down a marker on Thursday.

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Author: Paula Allen