Next year’s World Cup hosts Russia welcomes European champions Portugal to Moscow for the second round of group games in the Confederation Cup. The other game of the evening is between Mexico and New Zealand.
Pay TV channel, StarTimes, has promised to beam the games live from the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow to the watching pleasure of its Nigerian subscribers.
The European champions will be hoping to add some extra silverware to their international trophy cabinet, whilst the Russians are chasing their first major trophy as a nation, whilst simultaneously preparing for next summer’s World Cup.
As expected, host nation Russia got off to a comfortable start in their Confederations Cup campaign, beating OFC Nations Cup holders New Zealand while European champions Portugal were held to a 2-2 draw against CONCACAF Cup champions Mexico.
It goes without saying that all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo in Moscow. He’s Portugal’s talisman and everything flows through him on the pitch. As you’d expect, the Portuguese often look to Ronaldo to carry them forwards and tend to give him the ball whenever he’s in space.
However, he was slightly abject against Mexico and given the speculation surrounding his future and the impending tax avoidance charges, he’s got a lot on his plate at present. Will he be fully focussed on the Confederations Cup? A lack of focus could seep into his game and consequently hinder his national side.
Russia have only ever qualified for three World Cups, given a free pass into 2018 since they’re the host nation, whilst reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2008 represents the only time they’ve progressed beyond the group stage of a major international tournament. They’re not a nation steeped in footballing history and it’s apparent in the quality of their current squad. Portugal has a better first team and depth, so the key for Russia is putting in a solid team performance. They need everyone to pull their own weight and to play as one collective against a strong Portugal side containing Ronaldo. Retaining shape and staying solid at the back will be important.
Commenting on the match, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said tickets for the group game between Portugal and Russia have been sold.
“It is one of the most awaited games of the competition featuring hosts nation Russia and UEFA Euro 2016 Winners Portugal. Both teams are going to make debut in this edition of FIFA Confederations Cup. So naturally, fans are eager to see their team playing the competition for the first time.
The FIFA Confederations Cup, in its tenth edition featuring Germany, Russia, Portugal, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Cameroon,
StarTimes has promised its subscribers that they can enjoy the best of the Confederation matches and other thrilling sporting actions on its ST World Football Channels 244 and 254 and ST Sport Premium channel 246.
Speaking on these coming Confederation Cup matches, Acting Brands and Marketing Director, StarTimes, Mr. Qasim Elegbede, said StarTimes remains committed to delivering quality sporting contents to its subscribers.
“Quality sporting content was the reason behind the acquisitions of sporting rights such as the FIFA World Cup in over 48 territories in Africa and other sporting event like the Serie A, Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, Chinese Super League and Eredivisie.