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Smith and Patterson's All Whites Face Portugal
Saturday, 24th Jun 2017 10:23

Tommy Smith and Monty Patterson’s New Zealand complete their group games at the Confederations Cup when they take on Portugal in St Petersburg this afternoon (ITV4 from 3.30pm).

The All Whites cannot progress to the semi-final stage of the competition having been beaten in their previous two fixtures. A 2-0 loss to hosts Russia last Saturday was followed by a 2-1 reverse to Mexico on Wednesday.

Centre-half Smith, 27, is a certain starter on the left of New Zealand's three-man backline winning his 35th cap and will be looking to add to his two international goals.

Patterson, 20, is again likely to be among the subs and will be hoping to pick up his 14th cap. The 20-year-old midfielder or striker, who is yet to make his senior debut for the Blues, has previously scored one international goal.

Speaking in March, Smith was looking forward to pitting his wits against Cristiano Ronaldo, although with Portugal only requiring a draw to progress to the last four there is speculation the Real Madrid star may be rested.

“Testing myself against that calibre of player will be good,” Smith said. “Cristiano Ronaldo could be involved and I’ll be testing myself against one of the very best in the world.”

Meanwhile, former Blue Dean Bowditch, 31, has joined League One Northampton Town on a two-year deal having been released by the MK Dons after six years in the summer.

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Photo: Action Images

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guentchev added 11:45 - Jun 24
Would have thought they will rest Ronaldo for this one.

bluejake78 added 12:01 - Jun 24
Love him or hate him.He is a pleasure to watch.He will probably be on the bench should the game start going pear shaped.

TimmyH added 12:59 - Jun 24
Let's be honest is anybody really interested in this? long as Smith doesn't sustain a serious injury.

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:00 - Jun 24
Be good for Monty to get some game time and great for Smith to learn again a top team and (arguably) the best player in the world

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