Portugal head into their final World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg on Tuesday looking to keep their slim hopes of clinching top spot in Group F alive.
Bento's side could only draw 1-1 with Israel on Friday after Rui
Patricio's error gifted Eden Ben Basat a late equaliser at the Estadio
Jose Alvalade, leaving them three points adrift of group leaders Russia,
who need only to avoid defeat in Azerbaijan to confirm their place at
next summer's finals.
Portugal will be without captain Cristiano
Ronaldo and his Real Madrid team-mate, Pepe, after they both picked up
yellow cards against Israel.
The former denied picking up a
caution for dissent on purpose in order to ensure that he was not on a
booking ahead of the play-offs in November.
Even without two key
players, Bento's charges will still be expected to get the better of
Luxembourg in Coimbra as they look for the comprehensive victory which
will keep alive their faint hopes of overhauling Russia on goal
Ronaldo says that he is prepared for the "drama" of
the play-off round, with Portugal having qualified for their last two
major tournaments by virtue of a knock-out tie.
meanwhile, were beaten 4-0 at home by Russia on Friday and are
languishing at the bottom of the group with six points.
won 2-1 when the two sides met in September 2012, with Ronaldo and
Helder Postiga on target after Daniel da Mota had given Luxembourg a
The minnows have just one victory to their name in
Group F against Northern Ireland in September and they will be
determined to avoid finishing bottom of the group by securing a
memorable result on Tuesday.