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Portugal boss Fernando Santos wary of Scotland support | Football News

Last Updated: 13/10/18 2:36pm

Fernando Santos is aware of the passionate crowd at Hampden Park

Fernando Santos is aware of the passionate crowd at Hampden Park

Fernando Santos is aware of the passionate crowd at Hampden Park

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has warned his players that Scottish passion can pose them a problem at Hampden Park..

Santos has twice suffered defeats on Scottish soil and is expecting a difficult encounter in Sunday’s friendly, live on Sky Sports.

The 54-year-old managed AEK Athens when they squandered a 2-0 first-leg lead at Easter Road in a 2001 UEFA Cup match before edging through after extra-time despite a 3-2 defeat by Hibernian.

And his Benfica team were on the end of a 3-0 Champions League defeat by Celtic in 2006 when Kenny Miller netted twice at Parkhead.

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Portugal moved five points clear in their Nations League group (A3) on Thursday when they won 3-2 in Poland without Cristiano Ronaldo, who was not called up to the squad amid rape allegations.

Scotland lost 2-1 in Israel on the same night to leave group C1 wide open, while Hampden is expected to be less than half full, but Santos is wary of Alex McLeish’s team and the home support.

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Highlights from the Nations League fixture between Poland and Portugal

Highlights from the Nations League fixture between Poland and Portugal

“It’s a very tough game, Scotland are a strong opponent,” he said. “We have seen them playing 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 and set-ups we don’t usually play ourselves. They break away very well so we have to prepare for that.

“They have a really strong support, which is important for them.

Charlie Mulgrew scored from the penalty spot as Scotland lost 2-1 against Israel last Thursday Charlie Mulgrew scored from the penalty spot as Scotland lost 2-1 against Israel last Thursday

Charlie Mulgrew scored from the penalty spot as Scotland lost 2-1 against Israel last Thursday

“I know very well the passion of the Scottish game. I was here playing against Celtic in 2006 and Hibernian in 2001 and the passion around these games led the players to bring the best out of themselves. Scots are very passionate about football, I’m very well aware of that.”

Santos allowed Besiktas defender Pepe and Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva to leave the squad following the victory in Chorzow, but he insists he is not taking the game lightly.

“There are no friendly games, just games that score points and games that score no points,” he said. “We want to win.”

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