The first match of Friday’s programme in the European Zone of 2014 World Cup qualifiers will probably be the most interesting as well, with Russia and Portugal battling for the first place in Group F.
Given that both sides enjoyed pretty convincing starts to the World Cup qualifiers, we could easily see a fiery encounter at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
After missing out on a place at the 2010 World Cup thanks to a shock defeat in the play-offs to Slovenia, Russia did well to pip both Republic of Ireland and Slovakia to the first place in their Euro 2012 qualifying group.
Zbornaja Komanda were expected to ease off to the quarter-finals at the tournament finals, especially following the 4-1 win over Czech Republic, but the shock defeat to Greece saw them crash out of the tournament.
Boss Dick Advocaat has since been replaced by another high-profile coach, Fabio Capello, and the Italian has enjoyed a bright start to his career in Russia.
His side took six points from qualifiers against Northern Ireland and Israel, scoring six goals in the process and keeping two clean sheets, so there may be some value in betting on home win, at odds of 2.75 (7/4) offered by bet365.
High-profile forwards Andrei Arshavin, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Roman Pavlyuchenko continue to miss out, but Zenit rebel Igor Denisov keeps his place in the squad.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Akinfeev – Anyukov, Ignashevich, V. Berezutski, D. Kombarov – Denisov, Glushakov – Bystrov, Shirokov, Dzagoev – Kerzhakov.
Portugal have long been unable to play to their potential, but the team have finally started making steps in the right direction.
While the team had been far from impressive in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, the Seleccao took their A game to the tournament finals, which almost saw them win the coveted title.
After progressing from the group of death, Paulo Bento’s side beat Czech Republic to reach the Euro 2012 semi-finals, where they were unlucky to lose to Spain on penalties.
Boosted by the excellent showing in Poland and Ukraine, Portugal began the 2014 World Cup qualifiers with back to back victories over Luxembourg and Azerbaijan, but it is against Russia they will have to prove their worth.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe are both struggling with injury, but the Real Madrid players are expected to start in Moscow.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Patricio – Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Coentrao – Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles – Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo.