Portugal vs Austria by Isaiah
Portuguese side remain one of those that didn't impress in the first round, but there is still plenty of time to improve and get the qualification easily. The team looked very nervous in the first round, even though they have some of the best footballers in Europe, as even Ronaldo couldn't help them, on contrary, he also showed plenty of nervousness in many moments. They however, did dominated the midfield, but lacked effectiveness in attack in order to score goals more easily.
They were technically superior than players from Iceland, however couldn't score out of good number of chances created, while the defensive lineup showed some insecurity and actually conceded that goal naively, being actually even close to completely lose themselves on the field and lose the match as well, in last moments of the game. Fernando Santos opted to play without classic striker since they lack real scoring machine, while they expect now Quaresma to start, since he was their best player during friendlies.
Portuguese side should be playing in 4-3-3 formation now, with Quaresma and Nani as wingers and Cristiano Ronaldo in the middle. Ricardo Quaresma was only fit enough to come off the bench in their suprise game in the first round and manager Fernando Santos will now be hopeful of deploying him from the start as they aim to revert to 4-3-3 formation. Renato Sanches became Portugal's youngest player ever in major tournament in that game and is tipped to start again. Vieirinha could be at the bench after his poor performance in the previous game.
Austria is a side that probably showed the least in the first round, in comparison to what they were expected to show. After a perfect qualifiers, the team completely lost the ground against Hungairans and suffered 2:0 loss that will complicate their further destiny as for progress further a lot.
However, it needs to be said that the Austrians didn't perform that well in preparatory matches as well, since their results were way weaker than those from the qualifiers. They have lot during friendlies against Switzerland, Turkey and Holland, while the poor form was obviously brought to France as well. Needs to be said, they did dominate the field against Hungary for most of the time, but the nervousness got them once central defender Dragovic got red carded and had to leave the field.
Austria should be in 4-2-3-1 formation with Janko as their number nine, but also Harnik, Junuzovic and Arnautovic as offensive midfielders. Austrians will be without central defender Aleksandar Dragovic who was sent off in their game against Hungary, with Kevin Wimmer expected to feature at his expense. Striker Marc Janko overcame his back injury and should be starting here again, despite not showing much in the first round. Zlatko Junuzovic had some problems, but should be ready for this one.
- Portugal are undefeated in their last 8 matches (EURO Cup).
I believe Portuguese players have learned their lesson in the first round and with a bit more serious approach, they should be able to overcome Austrians who miss one of their best players.