Portugal vs. Brazil: What to Watch For in Tuesday's International Friendly

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2013

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 06:  Nani of Portugal looks on during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group F match between Northern Ireland and Portugal at Windsor Park on September 6, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

While a handful of notable international squadsincluding the United States and Mexicowill be battling to inch closer to a berth in the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday night, Portugal and Brazil will square off in a highly anticipated international friendly in Foxborough, Mass. 

Paulo Bento's Portuguese squad is coming off a 4-2 win over Northern Ireland in World Cup qualification and looks poised to qualify for next summer's tournament while Brazil earns an automatic as the host nation.

Therefore, Tuesday's friendly matchup will offer both teams a chance to see how far they've come since their previous outings and where they must improve heading into 2014.

Below, we take a look at what viewers should be watching for on Tuesday.


When: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m. ET (Sept. 11, 2 a.m. ET BST)

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.

Live Stream: beIN Sport Play (U.S.) BT Sport 1 (U.K.)


Helder Postiga, Nani Look to Lead Cristiano Ronaldo-Less Portugal Squad

With Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sidelined while he recovers from tendinitis, look for veteran forward Helder Postiga and the always-dangerous Nani to run the Portuguese attack against Brazil.

The 31-year-old Postiga has scored more than two dozen times for Portugal over the past decade, including in a recent friendly win over Ecuador earlier this year. Meanwhile, Manchester United winger Nani has 13 goals for Portugal since 2006, netting one in his side's friendly win over Turkey last year.

With Ronaldo unable to go, watch for experienced players like Postiga and Nani to take on more creative roles. Both men should have a lot more space to work with in Ronaldo's absence.


Neymar Aims to Power Brazil to a Win Ahead of 2014 World Cup

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is still several months away, but Brazil will want to avoid a letdown from now until next June.

Led by attacking sensation Neymar, Brazil will look to make a statement in New England on Tuesday. Even without Ronaldo in the lineup, Portugal are one of the top squads in Europe and should serve as a tough test for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side.

But with Ronaldo out, Neymar is sure to steal the show. After all, the 21-year-old has scored 25 goals for Brazil in 41 appearances for the senior squad since 2010, proving to be an unstoppable force with the ball at his feet.

Last Saturday, Neymar scored his eighth international goal of 2013 in a friendly blowout win over Australia. Despite the fact that there is very little at stake in this matchup, fans will want to keep a close eye on No. 10 Tuesday night.


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.  

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter