After the announcement of Group 2, which sees Portugal pitted against Spain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, Santos said that it is “still too early to talk about favourties” in the group.
“I think that in this draw it's not worth anticipating favorites or [talking about] favouritism. Until then, a lot will change, the teams are changing, it's a consistent group, very consistent”, said the Portuguese coach, speaking to Canal 11.
Switzerland is, according to Fernando Santos, a team that “cannot be excluded, as it has always been present, given the great quality it has”.
Four of the six rounds have to be played in June, for scheduling reasons, due to the holding of the next World Cup during the winter of 2022, a situation that will not be beneficial for the teams, as the Portuguese coach explained.
“It's a very fast race for qualification. There are six games and when we start, it's even faster. Games are being played in June and September, in only two windows. These are two windows that are normally very difficult because at the end of the season, there is a lot of fatigue. September is the opposite, [the players] are coming back and it will depend a lot on the players form”, he warned.
“Growth has to take place during the games. Not having time to work at a training level, there is growth that can be made throughout the game. In the first [edition] we reached the final and won, in the second we had a very good qualifying”, he recalled.
Finally, he pointed out that Portugal's concentration has as its “first objective”, the play-offs for qualifying for the World Cup 2022, and only then will attentions turn to the League of Nations, a competition in which the Portuguese “have something to say”.
“It's not a minor competition. It is becoming a bigger competition”, he concluded.