Four uncapped players who helped Portugal qualify for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship have been named in Luiz Felipe Scolari's 20-man squad for the UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against Kazakhstan.
Daniel Fernandes, Tonel, Nélson and Raul Meireles are the newcomers, while central defender Jorge Andrade returns after an eight-month absence along with Ricardo Quaresma. There is no place for midfielder Costinha, however. Scolari said: "I want to see some new players and as the Under-21s only have a friendly [against Serbia on Tuesday], it was the perfect opportunity to pick those four as well as João Moutinho. Besides, I believe these players are in good form and can really help us."
'A bit behind'
Maximum points in Coimbra are imperative for Portugal, as the Iberians have just four points from three matches in Group A - six fewer than leaders Serbia. "As we are a little bit behind in the group, it is imperative we win all our home games," Scolari continued. "Kazakhstan are a physical team who defend very well so we'll have to find a way to beat them."
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Quim (SL Benfica), Daniel Fernandes (PAOK FC).
Defenders: Tonel (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Jorge Andrade (RC Deportivo La Coruña), Luis Miguel (Valencia CF), Manuel Da Costa (PSV Eindhoven), Nélson (SL Benfica), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea FC), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea FC).
Midfielders: Deco (FC Barcelona), Carlos Martins (Sporting Clube de Portugal), João Moutinho (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Raul Meireles (FC Porto), Tiago (Olympique Lyonnais).
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC), Hélder Postiga (FC Porto), Nuno Gomes (SL Benfica), Ricardo Quaresma (FC Porto), Simão (SL Benfica).
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