Euro 2012 Semi Final Preview: Spain vs Portugal

Ronaldo: Portugal’s Main Threat Spain vs Portugal (1945 GMT)

It’s the famous Iberian battle tonight, as Spain lock horns with Portugal in the first semi-final of Euro 2012. Spain are looking to be the first nation in history to win three major trophies in a row.

That will not be an easy task though, as Portugal’s star-man Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have come to form since his double over Netherlands in the final group game.

They have named the same side in all four games so far, but Helder Postiga is injured, meaning Hugo Almeida will take his place up top.

A Xabi Alonso double put Spain through to this stage, and although they haven’t been at their best just yet, I feel that Spain will be leaving their best until last, as they have done so much in previous years.

Portugal had two days extra rest, and Spanish coach Vincent Del Bosque is ruing that fact, also claiming his players are drained, meaning there could be changes tonight.

Fernando Torres has two goals, and could have a chance to make it more, as I expect him to start, Mata, Navas, and Pedro will be all waiting patiently also.

The Spanish defence are notoriously strong, and Casillas has not been beaten in 13 hours of football at the knock-out stage.

Portugal will no doubt have to change that should they want to qualify, and Ronaldo will be hoping he can quiet a few of his critics who constantly claim Lionel Messi is the better player. But, the Portuguese will be hoping that they can go one step further than Euro 2004, where they finished runners-up despite being massive favourites over Greece.

They are the underdogs today, but I am backing a close match, with an early goal, but to end as a draw.

Draw HT/Spain FT @ 10/3
Moutinho AGS @ 14/1
Score 1-1 @ 5/1
Spain to win by 1 @ 3/1

Prediction: Spain 2 (Torres, Alba) Portugal 1 (Meireles) After Extra Time


By Brad Smith


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