So another game where Portugal manage to qualify for the next phase despite not winning a game in 90 minutes. Does that bother us? No, of course it does not, what matters to us is that we are in the Semi-final, our 4th in 6 European Championships. Our manager said that teams will struggle to beat Portugal and that is coming to be reality not a prediction after not losing to Croatia, a team that topped a group with Spain and also knocking out Poland a team that drew versus Germany in the group stage.
I will be honest and say I would have rather played Belgium than Wales in the Semi finals. Belgium are a team of individuals whom are very talented but Wales' team spirit is something that not many teams can match and tactically they have also been very impressive. Chris Coleman deserves full credit for getting the best out of that squad especially when you look at where those players are playing apart from Bale it does not suggest that they will be good enough for the Semi-finals of the Euros. But I honestly do believe Wales need to be considered favourites as they have been hugely impressive this tournament whilst Portugal have not been able to find the top gear yet.
But I do believe if Ronaldo turns up, we win the game because defensively we have been good apart from the odd individual mistake but as a whole I do think we have been solid. William Carvalho can't play due to suspension but Danilo will be a like for like replacement. We will win more aerial duels but lose a midfield trio that has played together all year but I cannot see that making as much of a difference as Wales will feel with missing Ramsey. Renato Sanches could prove to be decisive as well as Raphael Guerreiro hopefully starting. Sanches and Guerreiro have been very impressive so far, especially Sanches. His direct running mixed with passing ability, vision and strength could prove to be a match winner.
I would like to see us give Wales the initiative because without Ramsey they will not be as strong in attack as they have been, obviously Bale will be a handful but Ramsey has been key for the Welsh team in the Euros. As well as if we do attack with numbers it will allow Bale the space he wants to make danger so by being more defensive we will also be limiting Bales impact. Also Portugal with Joao mario, Nani, Sanches, Ronaldo and off the bench Quaresma, there is speed in the defence to attack transition which is shown in the goal versus Croatia. Of course, individually I do believe our squad is stronger on average but we have not been able to match Wales team spirit. I believe it could turn out to be a very cagey game with maybe a 1 goal margin between them but I am predicting extra time and maybe even Penalties.
Best of luck to both teams but Vamos Portugal!!!
What are your predictions for Portgual vs Wales? Let us know in the comments below!