PORTUGAL Vs WALES PREVIEW

It’s Cristiano Ronaldo vs Gareth Bale in a battle of Real Madrid superstars for a place in the tournament showpiece on Sunday night when the in form Wales take on a Portugal side that have managed so far, to just get the job done. The winner will advance to the final to take on either Germany or France who will fight for there place in history tomorrow.

ODDS

Portugal
Wales
Draw
Will it be triumph or despair for Gareth Bale?
It’s been a dream run for Wales at Euro 2016 , with their run to the semi finals already massively exceeding what anyone expected from them.

However with the wind well and truly in their sails following the magnificent victory over Belgium in the last eight, there’s now a genuine belief in the Welsh camp that they could pull off one of the greatest upsets in the competition’s history and go all the way.

Standing between them and a shot at glory are 2004 finalists Portugal, and even though they may not have set the tournament on fire in reaching this stage any side featuring Cristiano Ronaldo is a highly dangerous prospect.

Ronaldo will come up against fellow Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale in a battle between the world’s two most expensive players, and both will have to play a crucial role if they’re to inspire their country to a place in the final.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the first of the semi finals…

Team news

Portugal: Centre-back Pepe is a fitness doubt for Portugal after he missed training on Monday with a thigh strain, with Ricardo Carvalho set to deputise if the Real Madrid man misses out.

One player definitely out is William Carvalho after the midfielder received his second booking of the tournament against Poland in the last eight.

Left-back Raphael Guerreiro and midfielder Andre Gomes were ruled out of the clash with Poland but have both returned to full training and are expected to be fit.

Wales: The Dragons will be without two key men as they look to reach a first major tournament final, as midfielder Aaron Ramsey and defender Ben Davies both picked up their second yellow cards of the competition against Belgium.

Leicester City title winner Andy King could take Ramsey’s place at the heart of the midfield, while West Ham centre-back James Collins is set to slot into the back three

Predicted sides

Portugal (4-4-2): Patricio; Cedric, Fonte, Pepe, Guerreiro; Mario, Sanches, Moutinho, Gomes; Nani, Ronaldo.

Wales (3-4-2-1): Hennessey; Chester, Williams, Collins; Gunter, Ledley, Allen, Taylor; King, Bale; Robson-Kanu.

 Reasons for Portugal fans to be optimistic

If the match is decided by penalties, Portugal have won all three of their previous four shootouts in major tournaments – two of those coming against England.

William Carvalho may be suspended, but in Joao Moutinho and Renato Sanches they have still have world class options in the middle of the park.

They were able to breach one of the best defences in the competition in the previous round against Poland, proving they’re capable of scoring goals against the trickiest opposition.

Reasons for Wales fans to be optimistic

They may be without Aaron Ramsey, but in likely replacement Andy King they have the man who’s won three titles in three different leagues for Leicester and so won’t find anyone in their squad with a greater winning mentality.

Wales are the only team in the semi final lineup to have scored in every match they’ve played in this tournament.

The sensational 3-1 win over Belgium from a goal down showed the Dragons can come from behind to beat high quality opposition, their heads won’t drop if they suffer any early setbacks.

Previous meetings

Portugal 3-0 Wales (Friendly, 2000)

Wales 2-1 Portugal (Friendly, 1951)

Portugal 3-2 Wales (Friendly, 1949)

7. Recent form

Portugal – last 5 games

Poland 1-1 Portugal (3-5 on pens) (Euro 2016)

Croatia 0-1 Portugal (Euro 2016)

Hungary 3-3 Portugal (Euro 2016)

Portugal 0-0 Austria (Euro 2016)

Portugal 1-1 Iceland (Euro 2016)

Wales – last 5 games

Wales 3-1 Belgium (Euro 2016)

Wales 1-0 Northern Ireland (Euro 2016)

Russia 0-3 Wales (Euro 2016)

England 2-1 Wales (Euro 2016)

Wales 2-1 Slovakia (Euro 2016)

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