Portugal, who are placed in Group H alongside South Korea, Ghana, and Uruguay have dealt a major blow ahead of their match against Uruguay. The Cristiano Ronaldo-led team will be without their midfielder Danilo Pereira as the Paris Saint-Germain player has suffered broken ribs. Pereira is ruled out of the group stage of the FIFA World Cup while his chances of participation in knockout games (if Portugal qualify) are also bleak.
It’s reported that Pereira suffered the injury during the training session on Saturday. Portuguese media reported that he is ruled out of the group stage and should Portugal make it to the knockout rounds, it is also doubtful that he will be fit to play.
“ÚLTIMA HORA: Danilo Pereira sofreu uma fratura de três arcos costais e não deve voltar a jogar na fase de grupos do Mundial. (LAST MINUTE: Danilo Pereira suffered a fracture of three costal arches and should not return to play in the group stage of the World Cup),” tweeted Cabine Desportiva.
Who will replace Pereira?
If Pereira is unavailable for Santos, the Portugal coach could look to 129-cap Pepe to bring as a replacement or B enfica's Antonio Silva.
Notably, Pereira received a yellow card in the victory over Ghana, after a back and forth with Inaki Williams, but the booking may become academic if the defender misses the rest of the group stage. Portugal are top of Group H after beating Ghana 3-2 in their opening game on Thursday.
They face Uruguay in their second group match at the Lusail Stadium on Monday. A win for Portugal against Uruguay should secure a passage to the last-16 for the Euro 2016 winners.