Portugal vs. Sweden, 2014 World Cup qualifying: Preview and TV schedule

Jamie McDonald

While all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, this tie will likely come down to which supporting cast of players are more effective.

Sweden travels to Lisbon for the first leg of their 2014 World Cup Qualifying playoff against Portugal. Both teams came up short in the group stages and now face a must-win scenario in this two-leg tie if they hope to be playing in Brazil come next summer.

For fans of either nation, this will be a stressful process that guarantees broken hearts and shattered dreams for one nation. For the neutrals, it's a dream matchup that pits two of the world's most dynamic attacking players in Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With 10 goals scored by the two stars during qualifying combined, all eyes will be on them, but the ultimate success or failure of their teams will likely come down to the other 20 players on the pitch.

Sadly we'll all lose in the end as either Ronaldo or Zlatan will not be playing next summer in Brazil. Boo.

For Paulo Bento and Portugal, the status of midfielder Miguel Veloso, who left training with pain in his knee, is the only injury concern. Fabio Coentrao and Joao Pereira both entered camp with nagging injuries but should be available baring a setback.

Portugal have never beaten the Swedes in Sweden, so a strong result in the first leg could be important if Portugal hopes to make their third straight World Cup.

Match Date/Time: 7:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Estadio Da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal

TV: ESPN Deportes (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet (Canada)

Online: ESPN3 (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.)

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