With Portugal moving on to the Round o 16, manager Fernando Santos has made some interesting tweaks to his starting lineup, excluding Joao Felix off it.
So far, so good for Portugal. Fernando Santos’ team was asked to make a statement early in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, and they haven’t disappointed thus far, going 2 for 2 with a couple of wins in as many games.
The Portuguese side put up an impressive offensive display vs. Ghana, reaching a 3-2 win that should’ve been more lopsided. Then, they managed to crack Uruguay’s pesky and physical defense en route to a convincing 0-2 win.
That triumph secured Portugal’s presence in the knockout stage of the competition, and they only need a tie vs. South Korea to clinch the first spot in the group. Needless to say, that gives the coach the freedom to make some adjustments.
Qatar 2022: Why Isn’t Joao Felix Playing Vs. South Korea?
With that in mind, it seems like Fernando Santos has looked to preserve some of his best players. That’s why Joao Felix is nowhere to be seen in the Starting XI, as there’s no point in risking injury from one of their top playmakers.
There’s still a chance we get to see the Atletico Madrid star at some point in the game, especially if the Portuguese are trailing. However, maybe saving him for the Round of 16 is the wisest choice here.