England v Portugal
Kick-off 16:00 (BST)

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England face Portugal in a World Cup quarter final on Saturday with both coaches confident that a place in the last four is theirs for the taking.

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories at major tournaments over Eriksson.

Two years ago Portugal knocked England out at this stage of Euro 2004, while in 2002 it was as Brazil manager that Scolari plotted England’s downfall in Japan.

Scolari said his team will play with passion and commitment.

“We will play with fire in our belly,” said Brazilian Scolari.

“If we talk about the Portuguese and English fighting spirit then you can see that we’re going to have an emotional game, a tight game.”

The former Brazil coach also told his players to “have fun” on Saturday.

“I’m going to tell them to enjoy it,” he said.

“To enjoy playing a nice team like England, to enjoy the fact of being one of the eight best teams in the world, to enjoy being in a World Cup quarter-final, to have fun with it, take pleasure from it – that’s the main thing we want from Saturday.”

Scolari added that it might not be pretty, but the important thing was to win.

“I’m a coach who likes to have results,” he said. “I can’t say I want to play beautifully. England has the results in this tournament and so do we.

“Those who played beautifully are out.”

Scolari has had to reshuffle his pack today following the suspension of Deco and Costinha, and the possible loss through injury of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has been receiving treatment for a thigh injury he picked up in his side’s now infamous second round win over Holland, but he is now a major doubt.

Despite these absentees, Scolari will stick with his tried and tested 4-5-1 system, with Pauleta a lone striker, and possibly Luis Figo filling in for Deco, with Simao replacing Ronaldo. In the centre of midfield, Tiago is a like-for-like replacement for Costinha.

England’s main concern also comes in midfield with Frank Lampard a slight doubt through injury, although he is expected to start in a five-man midfield that sees Owen Hargreaves return to the holding role.

Gary Neville should return at right back after missing the last three matches, and his club-mate Wayne Rooney will again play the lone striker role.

Eriksson has boldly predicted that England will reach the final.

“We’ll be here on the last day on 9 July,” said Eriksson.

“We have a good team and we have the quality to go all the way.

“My message to the players is there every day. I have told them we shall stay in Germany until the last of the tournament – the World Cup final.”

Eriksson insisted he would keep his cool amid suggestions that he is too laid back in times of crisis.

“If I am standing and screaming in the dressing room before the game and at half-time, I don’t believe we will play better football,” he added.

“If I am trying to be constructive, saying the right things, explaining what’s important, hopefully we will play better.”

And the Swede laughed off suggestions that Scolari is his nemesis.

He said: “It is not going to go wrong. We will win the football match.”

“It will not be my last game in charge. I have never thought about that. I strongly believe this is not my last game.

“This is the best team I have ever had. What is better? They are more confident, more experienced and are the right age,” he said.

“They have been winning at club level, which helps them on occasions like this. They know they can beat any team.

“I don’t know if I am a better manager, but I know I have a better football team than I had two years ago in Euro 2004 and four years ago at the World Cup in Japan.”

And he insisted insists he was not motivated to win the World Cup to silence the doubters who have become increasing critical in the final days of his reign.

He said: “I am not worried about the critics. I never have been.

“Do I want revenge on the critics? No it has never been like that.

“I want to win a football match against Portugal and take England to a World Cup semi-final. That is the most important thing.”

Probable teams:
England: Robinson, Neville, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole, Beckham, Lampard, Hargreaves, Gerrard, J Cole, Rooney.

Portugal: Ricardo, Miguel, Carvalho, Meira, Valente, Petit, Maniche, Sabrosa, Figo, Ronaldo, Pauleta.

Referee:: Horacio Elizondo (Argentina)

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