Portugal vs Wales by Isaiah
Portugal is yet to get a victory inside 90 minutes at EURO 2016, after they required penalties to beat Poland in the quarter-finals. However, the team have shown that they actually no need a victory in regular time till now, being lucky with the development in the group stage that they have progressed with all three draws.
On the other side, nobody will be negative regarding their progress further after overtime against Croatia and penalty-kicks against Polish national team. Truth is that they aren't playing at the best possible level, but at the same time - their continued presence here increased the chances that we might see some improvement from them. Cristiano Ronaldo is also still to hit his form at this competition, especially missing few really good chances against Polish side, but will surely now be even more motivated as the team has great chance to reach the finals.
Portugal is once again set to play in 4-1-3-2 formation with Nani and Ronaldo as forwards, with Mario, Sanches and Silva as their offensive support. Defensive midfielder William Carvalho is suspended for this one, with Danilo probably coming in the midfield. Eliseu impressed against Poland and Raphael Guerreiro might not be recalled for this one. Pepe missed out their training on Monday, but should be fine till the game starts. Midfielder Andre Gomes also had some problems, but should be ready in case needed.
Wales, on the other side, were outstanding in their 3:1 victory over Belgium in the quarter-finals game, but the victory itself came at cost, since they lost two important players for the semi-finals game due suspension. Loss of Aaron Ramsey is especially big blow for the Chris Coleman's side. However, the team surely goes into this game knowing that they can get the positive result, since Portuguese side haven't actually being particularly good till now.
Together with Iceland, they were the biggest surprise of the tournament, but it's hard to see them playing really nice, since everyone takes them now completely serious and there's anyway no room for setback. It will be interesting to see how will Wales react with only one real superstar in the team now - Gareth Bale.
Wales should continue in 3-5-1-1 formation, with Robson-Kanu as number nine and Gareth Bale as offensive midfielder. They will be without important players midfielder Aaron Ramsey and left back Ben Davies after they both got booked for the second time at the tournament in a victory over Belgium. Jonathan Williams and James Collins should be the ones who will deputise in their absences.
- Portugal have drawn their last 5 matches (EURO Cup).
This will be their first game since 2000, when Portuguese side won 3:0. The fact that Portugal is yet to show something impressive, but still progressed so late in the tournament - can only work in their favor now, at least in my eyes. This game won't be an easy one, but I expect Portugal and their star Ronaldo finally to shine from the first moment.