European Qualifiers: Fernando Santos to opt for experienced Portugal side
Last Updated: 14/11/14 9:50am
Portugal coach Fernando Santos has opted for experience for his side's Euro 2016 qualifier Group I clash against Armenia in Faro on Friday.
Santos has called on several of the 'old guard' in a bid to build on last month's win over Denmark, with call-ups for the likes of Helder Postiga, Jose Bosingwa and Ricardo Carvalho, who had fallen out with former coach Paulo Bento - the man who paid the price for the shock 1-0 defeat to Albania in their opening Group I fixture.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago is also in the squad for the Armenia game at the Estadio Algarve and he feels that by bringing in some experienced heads, Portugal will have the right balance to take them through to the finals in France.
"It's a joy to have players of my generation back because we've had many good times together," Tiago told Portuguese media.
"For younger players themselves, it can also turn out to be important because they see us as references.
Live on Sky
Both of Friday night's Group I European Qualifiers - Portugal v Armenia and Serbia v Denmark - are live on Sky Sports 5 HD via the Red Button, at 7.45pm.
"We have more weight in the squad and this can help them to not feel so much pressure."
Defender Jose Fonte is pushing to make his first start for Portugal following Southampton's strong start to the Premier League season.
Armenia will be relying on their talisman, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as they look for their first victory of the campaign and their first win in Portugal.
Group leaders Denmark travel to Serbia without midfielder Lasse Schone and captain Daniel Agger.
Their injury-enforced absence is a huge blow to Morten Olsen's side, who are eager to return to winning ways in Belgrade following a draw against Albania and the loss to Portugal - results which have seen the pressure increase on the 65-year-old coach.
Serbia's last qualifier against Albania ended in controversial circumstances, with the match abandoned following a mass brawl on the pitch sparked by a drone carrying a pro-Albanian flag flying over the pitch.
A UEFA investigation saw Serbia subsequently awarded a 3-0 walkover victory but also ordered to play their next two home qualifiers behind closed doors. Both teams have appealed the decision, leaving the Serbians still without a win in qualifying.