Poland vs Portugal by Jimeno
Poland haven't been up to the desired level so far, but the team reached the stage they wanted. They did look solid in group stage, but somehow stopped attacking the same moment they took the lead against Ukraine and Northern Ireland. Still, that was good enough for them, but the truth is that they would really benefit from Robert Lewandowski hitting the form now.
The team has scored only three goals here, at the same time with only conceding one as well, while Lewandowski hasn't scored for the national team since Novemeber 2015, which would be close to nine hours of football. The team looked solid against Swiss side in the first halftime and had the lead, but somehow looked more passive than needed in the repetition and could be very happy to have fight out the progress via penalties. One way or another, the team might have already reached more than the nation expected.
Poland will almost surely be playing in 4-4-2 formation with Lewandowski and Milik as their usual two strikers. They will welcome back Bartosz Kapustka after he missed the victory over Switzerland due suspension. Their manager Adam Nawalka may be making some changes here after the players were forced to play all the way to penalties against Switzerland. Kapustka could come into the side at Groskicki's expense. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny remains doubtful, but Lukasz Fabians anyway should keep his place even if Szczesny recovers in time.
Portugal have been relatively poor so far, still having no victory at the tournament for ninety minutes, but given how the draw panned out, they do look as one of the favorites to reach the finals - at least, they do have a real chance of making through to the finals.
As said, they are yet to impress in the tournament and yet to record a regular victory, but in one way, this could have been expected - with their national coach Santos being known for more defensive approach during the game, while it's no secret that Portuguese side lacks real number nine. That was obvious in their last sixteen match against the Croats, as the team looked way to passive during the match and at some moments, even completely outplayed by the Croats.
Portuguese side will be playing in 4-4-2 formation as well, with Nani and Ronaldo once again as their forwards. Manager Fernando Santos made some a bit unexpected changes in the team that needed extra-time to win over Croatia and now remains to be seen how will he pick the team this time. Adrien Silva, Cedric Soares and Jose Fonte all were awarded with the first appearance at the tournament and now could be rewarded with another start. Andre Gomes has disappointed at the left flank and probably won't start here. Ricardo Quaresma should once again start from the bench.
- Portugal have drawn their last 4 matches (EURO Cup).
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Poland's last 4 games (EURO Cup).
Both sides will be having a bit tired legs ahead of this game and with the important given, I can't see this game being very open - nor getting very open during the match. Goalless draw and another overtime look so realistic here.