Netherlands have already made it to the World Cup, but France and Portugal still have to secure their pass
In an attempt to find a system better suited to getting everything out of his key individuals, Queiroz could decide to finally discard the 4-2-3-1 strategy favoured by his predecessor, Luiz Felipe Scolari. In its place, he may well opt for a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield designed to give as much freedom as possible to Cristiano Ronaldo.
For their part, France lie five points shy of Serbia while possessing a game in hand and retain a serious chance of topping Group 7. First place in the section will surely come down to the contest between the two rivals in Belgrade on Wednesday, but before that the 2006 runners-up must find their feet going forward again and overcome a Romania side deprived of dangerous striker Adrian Mutu.
The Netherlands have already sewn up first place in Group 9, of course, and that means Scotland and FYR Macedonia will put their play-off aspirations on the line when they lock horns in Glasgow. Norway have not given up on finishing second either, and they visit Iceland on Saturday before welcoming the Macedonians on Wednesday.