All eyes are likely to be on Cristiano Ronaldo when Portugal open their FIFA World Cup campaign against Germany in Salvador on Monday.
Question marks over the fitness of the FIFA Ballon d'Or holder have dominated Portugal's build-up to the tournament.
The Real Madrid forward has been plagued by thigh and knee problems for several weeks, but is expected to feature from the start against Germany in a game both sides can ill afford to lose.
With Ghana and the United States representing potentially tricky future opposition, the European sides in Group G know an early defeat would severely dent their respective hopes of making the last 16.
Portugal will therefore be desperate for Ronaldo, their captain and undoubted star man, to lead from the front as they face a team that has finished third in the last two World Cups.
Midfielder William Carvalho, among those to have delivered positive updates on Ronaldo's progress in recent days, believes Portugal are capable of impressing against Joachim Low's men.
"During the training sessions we talk about how we will play with each other, but we simply have our strategy and I am sure that in the first match you will like how we play," said Carvalho in a press conference.
Germany have been forced to cope with injury issues of their own ahead of the tournament.
Marco Reus was ruled out of the World Cup last week after tearing ankle ligaments in a friendly against Armenia, while Bayern Munich trio Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger have all seen their preparations hampered by minor setbacks.
Nevertheless, Low's side are fancied by many to make the latter stages of a fifth successive major tournament.
In addition to their third-place World Cup finishes in 2006 and 2010, Germany also reached the final of UEFA Euro 2008 - before ultimately losing out to Spain - and the last four of Euro 2012.
Germany kicked off the latter competition with a 1-0 victory over Portugal and many of the players involved in that game are set to feature again in Salvador.
However, the match-winner two years ago, Mario Gomez, was left out of Low's 23-man squad after a season wrecked by a serious knee injury.
As a result, Miroslav Klose is the only out-and-out striker in Germany's party and the veteran Lazio man can equal a notable record by finding the net against Portugal.
Klose currently boasts 14 World Cup goals, one shy of the mark set by legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo.
|13||T. Müller||12' 45+1' 78'|
|Coach: J. Löw|
for M. Özil 63'
for M. Hummels 73'
for T. Müller 82'
|83 suspects, 98 clubs ´impacted´ in football abuse probe|
|Fowler pleads with Liverpool to keep ´top quality´ Sturridge|
|Reus ´100 per cent different´ on comeback|
|Ibrahimovic ´super happy´ for rejuvenated Mkhitaryan|
|Vertonghen: Football needs Mourinho|
|Title triumph went to Leicester´s heads, admits Ranieri|
|Conceicao named new Nantes coach|
|LaLiga lead means nothing - Zidane|
|Chapecoense add two stars to badge in wake of air disaster|
|Blatter accuses Infantino of lack of respect|
|Austin injury compounds Puel´s misery|
|Gestifute publishes further evidence of ´Ronaldo tax compliance´|
|Pioli eyes further Inter improvement|
|´I feel s***´ - Van Dijk blasts Southampton after Europa League collapse|
|Mourinho marvels at Mkhitaryan mentality after Zorya stunner|
|Southampton 1 Hapoel Be´er Sheva 1: Late Van Dijk leveller not enough as visitors progress|
|Inter 2 Sparta Prague 1: Eder double sends hosts out on a high|
|Vieira wanted Arsenal coaching opportunity|
|Vieira hopes MLS experience puts him in frame to replace Guardiola|
|Mkhitaryan: I waited a long time for this|
|Zorya 0 Manchester United 2: Mkhitaryan magic sends Mourinho´s men through|
|Ranieri urges Leicester players to fight for their futures|
|Cellino banned for 18 months over McCormack transfer|
|Koeman demands reaction from dropped Barkley|
|Tevez unsure on Boca future amid China speculation|
|Bradley vows to fight for his job at Swansea|
|Koeman speaks out on Depay, Schneiderlin links|
|Wenger unconvinced by World Cup expansion plans|
|Kovac brothers sign new Frankfurt deals|
|Selling Sturridge would be a mistake, says Rush|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Besiktas, Dynamo Kiev|
|Filipe Luis suffers thigh tear|
|Kashima Antlers 2 Auckland City 1: Late Kanazaki header the difference|
|Suarez´s Barca renewal already done, says Bartomeu|
|Barcelona invite Chapecoense for Joan Gamper Trophy|
|Arsenal would have a chance against Real Madrid, insists Wenger|
|FIFA chief Infantino calls for zero tolerance on child abuse|
|Sanchez will not leave Arsenal for China - Wenger|
|Dybala delighted with Juventus return|
|Rashford desperate to learn from Ibrahimovic|
|Weigl not ready for Real Madrid - Tuchel|
|Why Zidane must drop Ronaldo at the Club World Cup|
|Barton: They built me up into a Neymar-Messi type|
|Shakhtar aware of Barca interest in Srna - Fonseca|
|Mets hitting coach believes Tebow can make it to MLB|
|Aubameyang reiterates Madrid dream after Bernabeu show|
|Zidane praises Benzema after 50th Champions League goal|
|Aubameyang deserves 99 per cent of credit - Reus|
|Neymar: There´s only one Ballon d´Or winner and it´s Messi, not Ronaldo|
|Magiera hails Legia victory as for ´all of Poland´|
|Tuchel thought Aubameyang had blown chance to equalise|
|Pochettino confident Spurs are back on track|
|Santo hails Porto´s mature performance|
|Lyon proved we can compete with Europe´s best - Genesio|
|Slutsky unsurprised by apparent Premier League interest in Dzagoev|
|Jardim frustrated as Monaco finally lose|
|Allegri dismisses importance of first-place finish|
|Zidane ´angry´ as Real Madrid let top spot slip|
|Sevilla aren´t satisfied with Champions League last 16 - Sampaoli|
|Ranieri slams Leicester´s lack of character|
|Confident Roberts ready to wing in for City|
|Real Madrid equal record 34-match unbeaten run|
|Kane relieved to end Wembley hoodoo|
|Legia Warsaw 1 Sporting CP 0: Guilherme seals Europa League spot|
|Porto 5 Leicester City 0: Silva at the double as Ranieri´s men crumble|
|Borussia Dortmund break record for goals in Champions League group stage|
|Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 2: Reus equaliser sees visitors grab top spot|
|Bayer Leverkusen 3 Monaco 0: Hosts retain unbeaten record with routine win|
|Club Brugge 0 FC Copenhagen 2: Routine win not enough as FCK must settle for Europa League|
|Lyon 0 Sevilla 0: Europa League holders secure passage|
|Juventus 2 Dinamo Zagreb 0: Bianconeri top group with easy win|
|Tottenham 3 CSKA Moscow 1: Spurs survive scare to seal Europa League berth|
|Benzema reaches 50 Champions League goals|
|Buffon´s 50-game Champions League run comes to an end|
|Santi Cazorla gives Achiles surgery two thumbs up|
|Video technology to assist referees at FIFA Club World Cup|
|Spalletti wants winning mentality to continue for Roma|
|M´Vila rejects Sunderland return|
|Robson-Kanu prioritised Premier League move, despite Atleti interest|
|Puel dismisses Fonte departure speculation|
|Mourinho rejects ´best coach in the world´ tag|
|Manchester United not giving up on Premier League, insists Mkhitaryan|
|Infantino favours 16 three-team groups at World Cup - report|
|Europa League an ´important competition´ for Mourinho|
|Brozovic extends Inter stay|
|Rooney still has England future - Hodgson|
|New wardrobe top of Jesus´ Manchester to-do list|
|Pioli not concerned by Simeone´s Inter comments|
|Poyet: It would be a pleasure to sign Tevez|
|Celtic charged by UEFA over crowd disturbances|
|Not extending Man United stay my only regret - Larsson|
|Aubameyang´s mum: He always spoke about Madrid, never Barcelona|
|AC Milan sale delayed until March|
|Police horse burger thrower fined|
|Nolito comfortable with Guardiola´s rotation policy|
|Ajax expect in-demand Bazoer to exit|
|Not even the Golden Boot would get me an England recall, says Defoe|
|MLS MVP Villa has no interest in Premier League move|
|Vidal: I never had a problem with Luis Enrique|
|Ancelotti not keen on Madrid Champions League reunion|
|Zabaleta: Guardiola needs Iheanacho more than ever|
|Ranieri not fearful of Foxes chop|
|Celtic fan arrested for throwing burger at police horse|
|Dad-to-be Lewandowski reveals baby news with goal celebration|
|Klopp´s Liverpool watched Barca at Camp Nou|
|Wenger braced for tough last-16 draw|
|Roberts buoyed by Guardiola acclaim|
|Gladbach´s Alvaro Dominguez retires at 27|
|Simeone satisfied with aggressive Atletico|
|Emery aims to bounce back after European disappointment|
|Madrid demand ´maximum respect´ for Ronaldo|
|No pressure on Iheanacho to fill Aguero´s boots - Guardiola|
|Cocu praises PSV effort despite European exit|
|Ancelotti hoping for confidence boost|
|Gunes takes blame for Besiktas thrashing|