UEFA Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview – Poland vs Portugal

Poland vs Portugal, Stade Velodrome, Marseille


Match Log

Poland

Poland 1 (Milik 51), Northern Ireland 0
Germany 0, Poland 0
Ukraine 0, Poland 1 (Blaszczykowski 54)
Switzerland 1 (Shaqiri 82), Poland 1 (Blaszczykowski 39) (a.e.t, Poland won 5-4 on penalties)

Portugal

Portugal 1 (Nani 31), Iceland 1 (B Bjarnason 50)
Portugal 0, Austria 0
Hungary 3 (Gera 19, Dzsudzsak 47, 55), Portugal 3 (Nani 42, Ronaldo 50, 62)
Croatia 0, Portugal 1 (Quaresma 117) (a.e.t)

Top Scorers

Poland

2 – Jakub Blaszczykowski
1 – Arkadiusz Milik

Portugal

2 – Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo
1 – Ricardo Quaresma

Team News

Poland

Wojciech Szczesny continues to be troubled by his thigh and is set to miss a fourth consecutive match with the injury, allowing Lukasz Fabianski another chance to sew up his spot in the side. Questions surround the form of Arkadiusz Milik, but he is the only option Poland have and should retain his place alongside Robert Lewandowski.
Likely team (4-4-2): Fabianski – Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk; Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Maczynski, Grosicki; Milik, Lewandowski.

Portugal

Renato Sanches will be hoping to start after showing plenty of class in the win over Croatia, and Ricardo Quaresma will be hoping that his goal against the Croats is enough to earn him a spot in the starting line-up. Vierinha was dropped for the last game and will look for a recall, but Cedric put in a solid performance in the round of 16 and should keep his spot at right back.
Likely team (4-4-2): Rui Patricio – Cedric, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Joao Mario, Renato Sanches, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva; Nani, Ronaldo.

Keys to success

Poland

Lewandowski put in his strongest performance yet against Switzerland in the round of 16, but the Polish captain was still kept very quiet and needs to break the shackles if Poland are to continue much further in this tournament. The defence has been strong throughout, and it speaks volumes that the only goal they have conceded on their way to the last eight was an unstoppable bicycle kick. The midfield has been able to provide plenty of opportunities for the forwards throughout the tournament, and they will look to do so again.

Portugal

Portugal put in a very poor attacking performance against Croatia, and while they were solid at the back they could not take advantage of the strong positions they found themselves in. They will need to use the ball better against the Polish, who have a frugal defence and will give nothing away. They will also look to involve Cristiano Ronaldo, who was virtually invisible against Croatia and needs to improve.

Prediction

The Portuguese were not in top form against Croatia, and their inability to break through in attack could prove costly. Poland have a solid base and will be a real test for the Portuguese, who will need to step up. Ronaldo and Lewandowski are top-quality players who have failed to make a real impact at this tournament, and if either steps up in this one they can lead their side to victory. Poland 1-0.

Stay tuned over the coming days for previews of the remaining quarter-final match-ups, as well as match reports on the games that have been played. The tournament is heating up, and I will aim to keep you up to date with everything that is happening.

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