We have had a couple of days off, but it is back to our full Euro 2012 coverage! Today, we have the first of two semi finals previews, this one being the juggernaut defending champion Spain vs. a Portugal team that is looking for it’s time in the spotlight. Who will come out on top tomorrow? Let’ take a closer look.
How Spain can Win: I’ts easy to say in this spot “just keep doing what you’re doing,” but Spain will need more against Portugal. Spain has faced two sub par teams in Ireland and Croatia, and faced two big name teams playing small ball with France and Italy. France hardly tried against Spain, yet they were still there towards the end, with Spain notching a later game goal to make the scoreline look like more of a blowout then it actually was. Spain has dominated, with six goals scored to one goal allowed, but they have not played a team at the level of Portugal. They will need to keep up their tough defense, and hope that their front 3-4 alone will be enough to score a goal or two to get them over the hill.
How Portugal Can Win: Will this continue to be the coming out party for Cristiano Ronaldo on the big stage? For years, Ronaldo has been a main stay in club play at Real Madrid and Manchester United, but he hasn’t had much success in past World Cup’s and Euro’s. However, he has notched three goals so far in this tournament, and his team is rallying behind him. More importantly for me, this team has had much tougher games then Spain. They’ve already survived the group of death, and played a Czech Republic team that surprised many by winning their group. Now, they face their biggest challenge, facing off against a Spainish squad that knocked them out of the 2nd round of the 2010 World Cup.
Our Prediction: If Spain can win this tournament, they will be the first team EVER to win three major national competitions. That’s Spain’s motivation, and it’s a great source of motivation, but it also brings pressure. Everywhere you look for Portugal, you have motivation. Not only do these countries rub shoulders on the map, but as previously mentioned, Spain beat them last time on the big stage. Combine that with Ronaldo being in the zone, and I have to pull the big upset card here. Not sure whether it will go to extra time or just go 90 minutes, but I like Portugal to shock with world and knock off the invincible Spainards 2-1.
What do you think? Does Portugal really have a shot, or is Spain ready to make history? Let us know in the comments!