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FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers: Fabio Coentrao, Joao Mario in; Nani out as Portugal announce squad – Firstpost

Lisbon: Sporting defender Fabio Coentrao and Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario make their returns to the Portugal squad named Thursday for next week’s World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary.

The European champions are once again led by Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, already scorer of 11 goals in five qualifiers and called up Thursday despite his five-match La Liga suspension.

File photo of Fabio Coentrao. REUTERS

File photo of Fabio Coentrao. REUTERS

One notable absentee, however, is striker Nani, still struggling after a knee injury.

Portugal host the Faroe Islands on 31 August in Porto before travelling to take on Hungary in Budapest on 3 September.

The Portuguese currently sit in second place in Group B on 15 points, three behind leaders Switzerland.

Coentrao, in a first call-up since October 2015, replaces injured Borussia Dortmund player Raphael Guerreiro.

A last-minute pull-out ahead of this year’s Confederations Cup, Joao Mario also makes his return, along with strikers Nelson Oliveira and Bruma.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Beto (Goztepe/TUR), Bruno Varela (Benfica)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Inter Milan/ITA), Cedric Soares (Southampton/ENG), Pepe (Besiktas/TUR), Bruno Alves (Rangers/SCO), Jose Fonte (West Ham/ENG), Fabio Coentrao (Sporting), Eliseu (Benfica)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting), Adrien Silva (Sporting), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto), Joao Moutinho (Monaco/FRA), Pizzi (Benfica), Joao Mario (Inter Milan/ITA), Andre Gomes (Barcelona/ESP)

Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/ESP), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas/TUR), Gelson Martins (Sporting), Andre Silva (FC Porto), Bruma (RB Leipzig/GER), Nelson Oliveira (Norwich/ENG)

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