Euro 2012 Semi-Final - Portugal v Spain - Preview

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Spain Football FansThe neighbours prepare to battle in tonight's semi final showdown in Donetsk. Spain will be defending their title against Paolo Bento's men, with both teams entering the last four clash on the back of 3 consecutive wins. (Portugal 7/2 in Euro 2012 betting to beat Spain).

Spain have a fantastic ability to retain possession which means they are rarely on the defensive, although their style of play in Euro 2012 came under much criticism, particularly after Vicente del Bosque's decision to play without a recognised striker in most of Spain's matches.

Spain have won their last 6 knockout round games at major tournaments, and although they have thus far not provided amazing score lines, they are able to break down their opponents with ease, and provide an excellent show to watch. (Spain 20/21 in Euro 2012 betting to beat Portugal).

Del Bosque has reported no new injury problems following their quarter-final victory over France, however he will have the dilemma of deciding whether to start the game again without a striker and to allow Cesc Fabregas to fill the role, one thing is for sure, it is more than likely he will keep his decision under wraps until kick-off. (Fabregas 7/1 in Euro 2012 betting to be the last goal scorer).

Portuguese coach Bento believe's patience is key for his side if they are to find a way past the defending champions. Portugal managed to thrash their neighbours 4-0 in their last meeting 2 years ago, and while the match may have been a friendly, Spain were still made up of 10 of the side who started the World Cup final, so could they suffer a similar fate tonight? (Cristiano Ronaldo 6/1 in Euro 2012 betting to be the last goal scorer).

It is suspected 20-year-old Nelson Oliveira, who has been a sub 3 times in the tournament, is likely to start on the bench yet again. Key player Postiga has been ruled out with a thigh injury, which means Bento will need to revise the starting line-up he has used for the side's last 6 competitive matches.

Forward Hugo Almeida is likely to start up front flanked in the attack by star man Cristiano Ronaldo, whose wonderful displays against Holland and the Czech Republic, played a huge part in getting Portugal to the semi-finals of Euro 2012.


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