Portugal's World Cup qualification campaign has been anything but plain sailing so far, with Paulo Bento's side having dropped points at the hands of group leaders Russia, Northern Ireland and Israel (twice). However, they should have comfortably enough to beat Luxembourg at home on Tuesday night, even if that's unlikely to help them leapfrog Fabio Capello's Russia.
Even if Russia somehow manage to lose to Azerbaijan and Portugal beat Luxembourg, Portugal will still have a massive goal difference deficit to overcome -- Russia's goal differential is currently +15, compared to the Selecção's +8. In short, the chance of Portugal qualifying for the World Cup without having to go through a nervy playoff is negligible.
However, they at least head into the game with the comfort of knowing the playoffs are the worst they'll have to settle for. Sitting an unassailable five points ahead of third-place Israel with a game to spare, they have nothing to lose. They'll be without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, though Hélder Postiga and Fábio Coentrão will return from bans to be at the disposal of Bento again.
Portugal: Rui Patricio; Fábio Coentrão, Ricardo Costa, Luis Neto, André Almeida; João Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Rúben Micael; Nani, Hélder Postiga, Silvestre Varela
Luxembourg: Jonathan Joubert; Mathias Jänisch, Laurent Jans, Chris Philipps, Tom Laterza; Stefano Bensi, Mario Mutsch, Lars Gerson, Daniel Alves Da Mota; David Turpel, Antonio Luisi
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 6 p.m. local, 1 p.m. ET
Venue: Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
TV: ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), RTP Internacional (U.S. and Canada - Portuguese), Sportsnet World (Canada), RTP 1 (Portugal)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)