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Portugal v Spain Euro 2012 Preview & Tips
The first semi-finals match is against Portugal and Spain. Watch their game live on Wednesday, June 27, at 19:45 GMT.
Portugal cruised to the semi-finals at the expense of Czech Republic in the last round. A 79th minute header by Cristiano Ronaldo was enough to seal the win for the Portuguese, a team that has been blowing hot and cold since the qualification round of this tournament. Portugal dominated the proceedings the entire night, allowing the Czechs only 38% of the possession and a meagre two shots, only one of which was on target.
Despite the dominance they should against Czech Republic, Portugal will have to be careful against defending title-holders Spain. Portugal after all, was excessively wasteful against the Czechs, throwing away chances here and there with 12 shots off the target. To add to Paulo Bento’s problems, first-choice forward Helder Postiga is out due to injury. Postiga suffered a hamstring problem against Czech Republic, and is deemed incapable of playing against Spain.
Spain head honcho Vicente del Bosque admitted that his side is “tired” but in the same breath insists his side’s dominance and capability to win. Both characteristics were in full show when the Red Fury beat France convincingly thanks to a brace from Xabi Alonso. A 19th minute opener from the Real Madrid midfielder saw an exclamation point at the death when Alonso was given a task of tucking away a penalty earned by Pedro in the 90th minute.
Although fatigued Spain is still this tournament’s most lethal team. Their versatility all over the pitch allows them to wear and tear the opposition down methodically, a great contrast to the one-man Portuguese show that is Cristiano Ronaldo. It remains to be seen however if Vicente del Bosque will be shuffling his troops in this game, but rest assured the names he will be starting with will be star studded and tough to handle.
Portugal v Spain Betting Preview
Portugal can’t fight fire with fire here so instead of chasing that ball and looking to keep it to no avail, they will have no other choice but to allow Spain hold possession and try to sting them on the break. This will only work however if Portugal work well on their chances and finish them off clinically, which by the way didn’t happen a lot during their quarter finals tie against Czech Republic. There’s a very big room for improvement for the Portuguese, but book the Spaniards another trip to the Euro finals as they look set to take this one by storm.
Verdict: Spain to win, 1-0.
Tip: Spain is at 1.90 to win, however everything changes if you consider Portugal as capable of keeping Spain away until the last minute of regulation. Unless Spain secure the win after 90 minutes you can at least count on Portugal to win in extra time at 17.00, or Spain to win on penalties at 12.00. There are such a lot of possibilities to choose from at this stage in every major tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo is still your main goalscoring option for Portugal. He is at 2.75 to score anytime in this game. Scoring in his last and hitting the woodwork twice, Ronaldo is by far the leading candidate for rewards in the goalscorer category. For Spain, well you have a multitude of choices but give Xabi Alonso a heat check. A brace in the last outing should be enough for you to consider his 4.75 odds to score anytime in this match.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).