Euro 2012: Spain v Portugal

This is a preview of the Euro 2012 Semi Final between Spain and Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo will be the key man for both teams to look out for

  • Spain are looking to make it to their third final in a row tonight and are firm favorites for the tournament narrowly ahead of Germany.
  • Many people say the Spanish style of play in this tournament has been boring, however for Spanish fans, it doesn’t matter that much as long as the results are being delivered on the pitch.
  • Spain have been starting a ‘false 9’ in Cesc Fabregas, but del Bosque will likely change that up today as Torres will be required to create an impact from the beginning against a highly attacking Portugese side.
  • Spain’s midfield has been extremely strong with Iniesta, Xavi, Silva, Alonso and Busquets being able to keep the ball away from their opponents and have an average of 60%+ possession with over 800 passes per game.
  • The defense of Spain has been one that everyone has looked on as being dodgy, however, so far in this tournament they have delivered the goods, and Spain have now held 3 clean sheets in a row with Pique and Ramos now having a full understanding of how each one plays
  • Portugal will have all their eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo to ensure that they deliver a result tonight, which adds incremental pressure on the Portuguese hit man.
  • The supporting cast of Nani, Veloso, Moutinho and Meireles has been on-song for the Portuguese giving plenty of support on the attacking side, but have sometimes gone missing on the defensive end.
  • The Portugese definitely have one change tonight with Postiga being ruled out with hamstring injury, and will be replaced Almeida or Olivera tonight.
  • Posession will be key today, as the Portuguese have been found wanting while the play unable to grab possession if it is held by their opponents and could see some fouls through this.
  • While France are an attacking team by nature, they weren’t able to get enough of the ball thanks to the Spanish, and this affected their ability to play.
  • Ronaldo will be taking on his team mate in Arbeloa, which could give him some advantage, but look for Xavi and Busquets to give him cover in order to keep Ronaldo in check.
  • This game will be extremely tight and should have few goals in it, much like Spain’s previous 2 games, and I expect they should just nudge this.

Spain to win @ 2.00  – 5 points (Betfair)
Spain over 4.5 corners @ 1.83 – 5 points (Bet365