Wales vs Portugal
With Wales storming through to the semi finals after brushing aside Belgium in a 3-1 victory that can only be described as shocking, all eyes are on Portugal to stop Chris Coleman’s side from securing a place in the final. Although many see Wales as the underdog going into the Portugal game, after beating the worlds number 2 its hard not to wonder whether the worlds number 8 is really going to be much of a challenge and with Portugal yet to wina game within 90 minutes perhaps this game will not be as hard for Wales as its seemingly perceived to be. Wales are now the first Euro debutants to reach the semi final since Sweden in 1992, so even the most diehard footballing fans weren’t expecting anything along these lines. Whatever the result tonight, there is no doubt that this will be the biggest footballing day for the nation that gave us John Charles, Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale since Wales’ last major championship.
‘Wales can reach their first major tournament final with victory over Portugal on Wednesday evening after their shock win over Belgium’
So Wales have simply been smashing it as of late, but there is a lot of speculation on how they will perform without EPL players Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies after both of whom received suspensions after gaining themselves 2 yellow cards apiece. Currently, James Collins is expected to play in place of Davies, while Andy King is in line for Ramsey’s spot. Portugal will also be without William Carvalho, who was given a caution during the shootout vs Poland.
Throughout the tournament, Wales midfielder Joe Allen has really shone, and although Wales’ key player Gareth Bale really hasn’t been as switched on lately, Joe Allen has really stepped up to the plate in the midfield and has most likely managed to secure his future, if not at Liverpool then no doubt for one team or another. Similarly, Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has been outshone unexpectedly by his team mates, most notably his Real Madrid teammate Pepe, who has led from the back with his performances throughout the competition. Renato Sanchez has also gained some attention after his wonder goal again Poland, in which not only did he help secure his team a draw the 18-year-old became the youngest ever player to score in a knockout stage game in the Euros.
‘Belgium brushed aside, Portugal to suffer the same fate?’
People across the world will no doubt tune into the game, and with millions of expected viewers from the UK alone its set to be one for the history books. But not everyone will be tuning in just to support of one team or another, a lot will be fixing to see the rivalry between two of the worlds most expensive signings: Bale and Ronaldo. The teammates from top SPL club Real Madrid helped their team lift the European Cup only 3 months ago for the 2nd time in 3 years. Ronaldo is known around the world for his achievements, both for his club and country where Wales superstar Bale is for famous for his concern for the team as oppose to personal achievements and records. In an interview he stated ‘It’s Wales V Portugal, nothing more’, but of course we know that there’s no love lost between the two. Before the tournament, both players were expected to put the team on their backs but as the tournament has progressed neither one has really managed to put in a performance that could be labelled as outstanding. Bale has stated that he would like to meet his Real Madrid teammate in the final, after a joke from him saying that he expected Wales to have a swift exit within the group stages of the tournament.
‘Portugal yet to win within 90 minutes’
The match will be held at 8pm GMT on Wednesday 6th of July at the Stade Des Lumieresn and will be shown in the UK on ITV 1. Currently Wales are at 8/5 to take the victory, while Portugal’s odds stand at 6/5. Whichever team wins will face either Germany or France in the Euro Final on Sunday at the Stade de France which holds 80,000.