- All German final in the 2013 UEFA Champions League
- Semifinal draws for 2012-13 UEFA Champions and Europa League
- Leo Messi 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year Animation Tribute by Richard Swarbrick and Adidas
- Arsenal vs Manchester City: Premier League Preview and Prediction
- Manchester United vs Liverpool: Premier League Preview and Prediction
Portugal vs Spain: Euro 2012 Semifinal Preview and Prediction
Published by William | Filed under Euro 2012, Portugal, Predictions, Previews, Spain
Follow Portugal vs Spain with the fastest updating Livescore online, only at WSN.com!
6/27 20:45 CET, Portugal vs Spain – Odds | Stats
The Euro 2012 semifinals are here as Euro and World Champions Spain take on their Iberian neighbors Portugal in Donets’k's Donbass Arena. Spain found their form against France and will attempt to frustrate the Portuguese in a similar manner come Wednesday night. Portugal on the other hand, have seen their star and captain Cristiano return to his goal scoring best and will look to him to beat the defending champs. With Spain no doubt winning the battle in the midfield, both sides have different approaches to the match but the better defensive team will likely prevail.
Since the loss to Germany in the Group of Death opener, the Portuguese are playing better football. Led by a re-surging Cristiano Ronaldo, A Selecção has become more and more threatening in attack. Ronaldo has scored the last three goals for Portugal that included two game winners. The Real Madrid winger is heating up just when his country needs him the most. To have a chance against Spain, Ronaldo and Nani will need to use their pace down the wings and spread the pitch. Manager Paulo Bento is well aware of Spain’s weakness against the counter attack. The Spanish up the tempo of defensive when they lose the ball and can leave holes that Portugal need to take advantage of. Set pieces and the aerial battle should also be won by Portugal.
Real Madrid defenders Pepe and Fábio Coentrão know the Spanish attack all too well. They will have to be patient in disrupting the short game of Spain. 29 year old striker Hélder Postiga is out with a hamstring injury he picked up against the Czech Republic. Beşiktaş Hugo Almeida will replace Postiga and lead the attack along with Nani and Ronaldo. 20 year old promising Nelson Oliveira of Benfica may finally get some minutes but Bento will remember the winner from Silvestre Varela agaisnt Denmark.
Since Italy scored in their Group C draw, Spain has yet to concede a goal. The Euro and World Champion’s seem to be back on track, but are still missing an edge in finishing. Spain’s style of offensive breaks down their opponents both physically and mentally. But, why do you need a striker when you can walk the ball into the net? Spain simply needs to do more to test the opposing keeper if they are to advance to the final. Few players for example, opt to shoot from outside the box. At the other end of the pitch, Sergio Busquets will have to provide more defensive cover when Portugal attacks.
Spain is looking more and more like a Messi-less Barcelona. But, in Messi’s absence, Andres Iniesta has provided the spark the Spanish need in the final third. Vicente del Bosque has managed his entrusted both Fernando Torres and Fabregas as strikers but with so many options in the midfield, the two will not start together.
Spain will use ball possession and one touch football to wear into the Portuguese but Spain knows the threat of Portugal’s attack. That said, Portugal needs to be careful to not tire too quickly and furthermore, will not be able to use their free-flowing attack throughout. Rivals Spain have conceded chances in every game of the Euros, and is most vulnerable in the opening quarter of the match. Find a value bet in picking the Portuguese to score first.
The last time the side met in a competitive match was two years ago in 2010 World Cup South Africa where Spain edged out the Portuguese 1-0. This time however, Spain is a little weaker, while Portugal stronger and Ronaldo more mature.
Portugal 1 – 1 Spain (Spain through on penalties)