An interesting encounter and probably a great spectacle awaits in the form of Belgium vs Portugal in the round of 16 stages of Euro 2020. The winner of the clash will face the challenge of either Italy or Austria on July 3 in Munich.
Belgium escaped the group stages in some style carrying a hundred percent record and conceding just one goal. They arrived in the last 16 as Group B winners scoring seven goals. Marksman Romelu Lukaku lit up the tournament scoring three including a brace in the first game against Russia. The return of Kevin De Bruyne gave him more on the final third. The team as a whole have been great throughout and their attacking style of play has been neat. However, they face their first big challenge in the competition.
Portugal haven't been cruising in the competition like Belgium but it is simply because the group they were drawn in. They finished third like four years back level on points with Germany on second. Whatever disarray Portugal faced in group will be easily forgotten because of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. Tournament's top goalscorer with 5 goals and all time record holder, the 36 year old keeps setting standard as if he is in his prime. He scored his first in the 3-0 defeat of Hungary and then got the wrong end of a 4-2 smashing by Germany before holding France 2-2 in an entertaining draw.
Belgium vs Portugal Match Details :
When: Sunday, June 27th/ Monday, June 28th
Timing: 00:30 (IST)/ 21:30 (CET)
Where: Estadio de La Cartuga, Seville, Spain
Recent Form :
BEL vs POR Dream11 Team News :
Injuries & Suspensions
Timothy Castagne got ruled out from the tournament prematurely due to the eye injury he suffered in Belgium's opener against Russia and he has since been replaced by Thomas Meunier. Roberto Martinez have no further injury scare and is delighted to see Axel Witsel and Kevin De Bruyne on their full fitness level. The former Everton boss has a full strengthened team available for this massive clash.
Fernando Santos had to make two forced substitutions in place of Danilo Pereira and Nelson Semedo, both taking blows, in the game against France but the pair have joined training ahead of the Belgium game. They are available to retain their place in the starting berth. As a case, youngsters Palhinha and Diego Dalot will return to the bench. Santos is likely to implement defensive strategy once again facing a very good opposition in Belgium so Bruno Fernandes is likely to be dropped again.
Belgium vs Portugal Predicted Lineups :
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Dedrick Boyata, Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Meunier, Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne
Portugal possible starting lineup: Rui Patricio; Nelson Semedo, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Joao Moutinho, Danilo Pereira, Renato Sanches, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Jota
Belgium vs Portugal Head to Head :
Portugal have a fine record in this encounter if recent games are taken into account. The Selecao haven't lost in five previous meeting, winning three of them. Although, they have managed to win only 6 of the overall 18 meetings with Belgium, losing five and drawing the rest. The Red Devils haven't tasted victory since a 3-0 drubbing of their opposition in a FIFA World Cup qualifying back in 1989. Most significantly, these two are meeting for the very first time in a major competition.
BEL vs POR Dream11 Fantasy Team Prediction :
GK: Thibaut Courtois (Bel)
DEF: Toby Alderweireld (Bel), Pepe (Por), Jan Vertonghen (Bel)
MID: Axel Witsel (Bel), Renato Sanches (Por), Joao Moutinho (Por), Thorgan Hazard (Bel)
FW: Kevin De Bruyne (Bel), Romelu Lukaku (Bel), Cristiano Ronaldo (Por)
Despite Rui Patricio's excellent saves that kept Portugal in the game against France, Thibaut Courtois's two important clean sheets in the group stages cannot be ignored. He is only behind England's Jordan Pickford for the golden glove race. Courtois has been helped by the reliable duo of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld to keep the defense intact. Axel Witsel recovery from his injury has been crucial for the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and wing-back Thorgan Hazard to push further forward. Joao Moutinho and Renato Sanches did well to break the threshold of the French press by driving the ball upward. All of these players work rate is the ultimate feeder to two golden boot chasers Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Match Prediction: Belgium 1-1 Portugal (Portugal win on penalties)
The golden generation of the Belgium football team history are a talented group and are craving for silverware to go with their gigantic status. Unfortunately, the best team currently on the FIFA ranking have to think about the next World Cup to make their chances pay. The Red Devils will push Portugal to the limit but will come short. Fernando Santos's preference on defensive discipline worked out sometimes but got breached badly against Germany. Still possessing one of the best footballers in the locker speaks for itself to help in Portugal's advancement to the quarter-finals. It will be a brilliant tactical game nevertheless.
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