UEFA Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview – Wales vs Portugal

Wales vs Portugal, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon


Match Log

Wales

Wales 2 (Bale 10, Robson-Kanu 81), Slovakia 1 (Duda 61)
England 2 (Vardy 56, Sturridge 90+2), Wales 1 (Bale 42)
Russia 0, Wales 3 (Ramsey 11, Taylor 20, Bale 67)
Wales 1 (McAuley 75 og), Northern Ireland 0
Wales 3 (A Williams 31, Robson-Kanu 55, Vokes 86), Belgium 1 (Nainggolan 13)

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)
Poland 1 (Lewandowski 2), Portugal 1 (Renato Sanches 33) (a.e.t, Portugal won 5-3 on penalties)

Top Scorers

Wales

3 – Gareth Bale.
2 – Hal Robson-Kanu.
1 – Aaron Ramsey, Neil Taylor, Sam Vokes, Ashley Williams.

Portugal

2 – Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo.
1 – Ricardo Quaresma, Renato Sanches.

Team News

Wales

Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies picked up suspensions in the win over Belgium, and both of them will have to be replaced. Davies can be easily replaced by James Collins, but greater issues surround Ramsey, who dominated against Belgium and is in great touch. Jonathan Williams and Andy King are in line to replace him, and it is unclear which one Chris Coleman will pick. Hal Robson-Kanu had an excellent game after replacing Sam Vokes and should keep his spot.
Likely team (3-5-2): Hennessey – Chester, A Williams, Collins; Gunter, Allen, Ledley, J Williams, Taylor; Robson-Kanu, Bale.

Portugal

William Carvalho is suspended, and his place in the centre of the park is likely to be taken by Danilo. The other concern for Fernando Santos surrounds Pepe, who is in doubt with a thigh complaint. If he fails to get up then Ricardo Carvalho should regain his place and partner Jose Fonte in the centre of defence. Raphael Guerreiro and Andre Gomes have returned from injury and could retake their places in the starting line-up.
Likely team (4-1-3-2): Rui Patricio – Cedric, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Danilo; Joao Mario, Renato Sanches, Adrien Silva; Nani, Ronaldo.

Keys to success

Wales

With Ramsey out suspended Gareth Bale and Joe Allen will have to step up to replace the Arsenal star, who has been in top form at this tournament. The defence will need to hold firm against a Portuguese side with plenty of attacking talent, and they will look to exploit the Portuguese on the break when they go forward. Chris Gunter and Neil Taylor have big roles to play in both defence and attack, and both Robson-Kanu and Bale will be expecting good delivery from the wing-backs.

Portugal

The Portuguese have been lucky to make it this far and they will need to markedly improve if they are to beat the Welsh. Their delivery for Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo has been abysmal, and if they are to win they need to be much better at translating possession into goals. Ronaldo was silent against Croatia in the round of 16, and while he sparked up against Poland he was unable to take any of the brilliant opportunities that were handed to him. He will need to improve, and fast.

Prediction

Wales are missing one of their star players in Ramsey, but they still have enough talent about them to do well. The Portuguese are in need of improvement after poor efforts against Croatia and Poland, but all signs suggest that they are unlikely to change. Wales 2-1.

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