Preview: 1st Euro 2012 Semi Final – Spain Vs PortugalJune 27, 2012
Finally the UEFA Euro 2012 will experience its first semi final match for which Group C member Spain and Group B member Portugal have reached Donetsk to face each other at Donbass Arena on June 27, 2012 at 18.45 hours GMT. This is a crucial match for both the teams to make their straight to the final. Two times champion Spain is looking forward for the third championship title of this tournament while Portugal is on their way to achieve their debut championship title of Euro.
After outsmarting France quite easily in a 2-0 score line in the quarter final of this tournament, Spain took another stride towards the Euro 2012 trophy. With an array of skilled individuals, the team got a glorious victory. Besides La Roja’s dominance over the French rivals, another star in this match with his impressive performance was the midfielder from Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso. The French who upset the Spaniards before in international majors, have failed to create any trouble this time which helped Spain to fix a spot against Portugal in a semi-final match. Spain was the champion in Euro 2008 and they are now eyeing for this tournament as well to win three successive international championship titles. Their superb form has already made them a pre-tournament favorite and now it seems that they are really emerging as a powerful team. In this upcoming match, Spain is expected to play with 6 midfielders to make their attack stronger. Although before the last match, the team felt that the absence of David Villa may affect the team spirit but finally when goals came from multiple sources, the team’s confidence became strong for the next match. In the absence of Carlos Puyol, Sergio Ramos and Jordi Alba are doing a great job for the defense side which is creating enough trouble for the opponent.
Portugal is the first team to fix a spot in the semi-final when they defeated Group A topper Czech Republic in 1-0. Although they made an underrated performance in the beginning of this tournament, but as the tournament progressed, they bounced back in their in-form momentum to get three glorious victories in a row to be in the semi-final. In this semi-final, they are facing 2008 champion Spain who has been outstanding in this tournament. So to tackle this ex-champion and to fulfil their dream of getting their debut European Championship title, they are getting ready with improved tactics. In Euro 2004, they remained contented with the runner up title but this time they are heading for the championship trophy. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo is totally in form and was the main hero for the last two matches. Nani is another skilful striker in the attack along with Ronaldo. But while these attackers are ready to hammer Spaniard goalpost, the rival goalpost has conceded only one goal in this entire tournament so far. So, Portuguese attack over Spain will not be so easy. On the other hand, Portuguese defender Pepe is the main person to restrict the Spaniard attack. Being a Real Madrid striker, Pepe will utilize his past experience against the Spain. Another Real Madrid in Portugal squad, Fabio Coentrao has been in the lime light because of his impressive performance both in attack and defense.
With an array of skilled strikers in both the sides, this competition for the semi final position will be tough and challenging. Although two equally competent teams are in the battle but still Spain is the favorite one due to their level of performance and consistency in the field. Although Spain is a tough team to defeat, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal is not an underrated one and can oust Spain at any time with their superb attack.
The bookies like William Hill, Ladbrokers, Bet365, Coral and Betfred are offering 10/11 odds and Paddy Power and Betvictor are offering 19/20 and 20/21 respectively for Spain’s victory. On the other hand, for Portugal’s win, William Hill, Paddy Power, Bet365, Betfred and Betvictor are offering 7/2 while the other two are offering 10/3. For a draw score line, Bet365 and Betfred are offering 12/5, Ladbrokers and Coral are offering 9/4, Paddy Power and Bet365 are offering 23/10 and William Hill is offering 11/5.
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