It’s fitting that this Spain team have made it through to the final of the most competitive football tournament on Earth without reaching what is believed to be their best. They’re a once in a life time team full of extraordinary players. Portugal may not have the depth of Spain, nor the quality, but the quality they do have is just as exceptional. Of course Spain are the favourites, but there wont be too many shocked faces if a Ronaldo inspired Portugal pull of a victory.
If Portugal are to win a place in their second final in the last 3 tournaments they will have to do so without experienced striker Helder Postiga, meaning manager Paulo Bento will be forced to make a change after naming the same line up for five consecutive fixtures. That change will more than likely see Hugo Almedia come in upfront.
Following the admission of coach Vicente Del Bosque that his players are ‘drained’, Spain may make a number of changes with Pedro and Fernando Torres likely to come into side. Spain looked at their fluid best against Ireland when a genuine striker player upfront and bringing in Torres will remove the causal nature of Spain’s performance against France.
Without question, the key man for Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the ability to change a game in an instance and one flash of brilliance could be what is needed to win the game tonight. The Spanish defence will be key. Victory is never reliant on one man in football, but keep Ronaldo quiet and Spain will have half a foot in the final.
Spain will always pass. Pass, pass, pass. No matter who plays, Spain will pass the ball like no other team. However, they’ve lacked a little up top this summer and bringing Torres back will be key. Taking chances will be crucial and Spain’s start striker will need to be on form as not many will come to him in this close contest.
Prediction: Spain 2-1 Portugal