Gerard Moreno is starting up top as a single striker against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in today’s international friendly, Pau Torres starts on the bench. Here are the lineups for today’s match:
Given that this is a friendly, I’m forcing myself to not get too worked up about the lineups. Yes, Pau Torres is obviously better than both CBs that are starting, but that’s fine, Enrique has to find out what he has in order to fill out the squads for future competitive matches. That said, given Busquet’s age and the Kepa’s complete inability to do anything right on a football pitch, I’m surprised to see them starting.
It’s a bit curious to me that the official Spanish graphic has Rodrigo on the right and Gerard central. I would expect both forwards to interchange positions a lot during their time together on the pitch. The whole formation lacks natural width, with the experienced but still not truly a wide player Roberto at right back, and Dani Olmo as a left wing, when he’s probably most naturally a CAM. I expect this to play a bit like a diamond once it’s actually on the pitch.
Cristiano Ronaldo remains the biggest name for Portugal, but he really doesn’t do a whole lot when he isn’t shooting... think of him as an older, far more expensive Paco Alcacer who might happen to be a little bit better in the air. Speaking of former Real Madrid players, I honestly didn’t realize Pepe was still playing. Portugal will be in their Wolves strip tonight (or is it Wolves who have a Portugal strip?). If we have to watch international friendlies, this doesn’t seem like a bad one to take in.