Portugal have reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals without a single win in normal time so far and will be under great deal of pressure to prove their worth and dispatch red-hot Wales, who are high on confidence after a series of some remarkable results.
Fernando Santos’ team is considered one of the top squads in Europe, but Portugal did little to live up to their reputation as they struggled throughout the competition. Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates’ performances have been below par and Portuguese team will now have to step up the plate if they want to make their presence at Euro 2016 known. Following their opening 1-1 draw against Iceland and come from behind 3-3 stalemate against Hungary, Portugal were completely outplayed by Croatia in regular time, but a single moment of lost composure from the Croatian side has allowed Santos’ men to progress to the quarter-finals where they beat Poland on penalties. Having been labelled ugly ducklings of the tournament, Portugal will be eager to put in a quality performance against Wales, but head coach Santos has already made it clear that all he and his men are interested is reaching the finals, not pleasing the crowd. Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo will have his personal agenda on against Wales as he will face his club teammate Gareth Bale and there is no doubt that Portuguese key man will be eager to get the upper hand on his pal.
Fernando Santos will have no major selection issues for the upcoming game. William Carvalho is the only one unavailable as the experience Portugal veteran was cautioned during the shootout victory over Poland in the quarter-finals.
Welsh Dragon flying high
Wales are enjoying a stellar Euro 2016 campaign at their first major appearance after more than 50 years and Chris Coleman’s team can now reach their first final with victory over Portugal on Wednesday evening. The Welsh Dragon is flying high on confidence following their morale-boosting shock triumph over Belgium in the quarter-finals. Wales’ players will be been to harness on the team spirit which has carried the team to the point where Welsh have become the first Euro debutants to reach the last four since Sweden in 1992. Despite their self-belief and confidence, Wales are feeling the heat as they are up against teams that have more experience at this stage. However, their inspiring performance against the wold No 2 side Belgium have been the icing on the cake following triumphs over Russia and Slovakia earlier in the tournament. Gareth Bale will be the one to watch against Portugal and his teammate Ronaldo, as Real Madrid winger has been putting in great displays to add to Wales’ unity and cohesion.
Chris Coleman will have to do without Tottenham defender Ben Davies and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey as both men have picked up their second bookings of the tournament against Belgium. James Collins is line to replace Davies, while King will fill in for Ramsey.
It can be pretty difficult to reach the final verdict on this match. We are sure that every single football romantic in the world would love to see Wales go through, but Portugal should not be underestimated. We are expecting a tough game, a close-knit encounter but are ready to support the Welsh Dragon.
Top pick: Wales to qualify 2.62 (13/8) @BetFair
Alternative pick 1: Wales 4.2 (16/5) @Bet365
Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals 1.49 (17/35) @Unibet