Spain v Portugal Betting Tip 1-0/0-0 – Wednesday 27th June 2012

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Spain

Spain v Portugal

Spain comfortably saw off a disjointed French side to make their third successive semi-final in a major International tournament. It was a far more professional and confident performance from the current Champions compared to their last group game. As predicted, Cesc Fabregas came back into the starting line-up in place of Fernando Torres but was more effective in his ‘false nine’ role than his previous start against Italy on the opening match day. Torres was used to good effect from the bench along with Barcelona’s Pedro as their pace allowed Spain to hit France on the counter attack. It remains to be seen whether or not Vincent Del Bosque alters his line-up again but I would envisage a similar line-up to the Quarter Final as it was arguably Spain’s most composed performance of the tournament – taking the opponents into account.

Portugal proved to be too strong for the Czech Republic in the first of the Quarter Finals with a late goal from Cristiano Ronaldo proving to be the difference. It was the Real Madrid’s third strike of the competition but he could have had so many more. The difference in quality between Ronaldo and the rest of his team-mates is startling, especially over the last two games. He will once again be essential to Portugal’s hopes of qualifying for the final. Portugal once again lacked creativity in the midfield area; despite having a lot of possession they were unable to hurt the Czech’s from deep because of that lack of killer pass. They also passed up several guilt edged opportunities from the central striking area, with Hugo Almeida the guiltiest culprit. It’s arguably the only two positions holding them back from being one of the elite teams in International football as they are very strong

Spain seem to be progressing with every match but there is still a lack of urgency at times when they seem well on top. Although scoring early on they had to wait till the final minutes to clinch it despite having the vast majority of possession. They will need to be more incisive on Wednesday as Portugal are sure to be better organised than the French were.

Paulo Bento will have to change his starting line-up for the first time in the tournament as Helder Postiga picked up an injury in their last match. The aforementioned Hugo Almeida will come in to replace him but he will be under no illusions as to the demands for him to be more clinical against a better quality of opposition. He may well only get once chance and he will have to take it.

I don’t see anything other than a tight game with restricted chances on Wednesday. Portugal will probably adopt similar tactics to when they played Germany but they tired late on in that match. Spain won’t change their philosophy so there could be a stalemate.

Try a couple of correct scores tomorrow night.

Spain 1-0 1pt, 5/1 @ BlueSquare

Draw 0-0 1pt, 13/2 @ StanJames