We are down to the wire at Euro Cup 2016. The final four teams have made their way into semifinals and with three more games to go before deciding the winner, competition gets intense. In the contention fray are two surprise packages – Wales and Portugal and two seasoned teams – Germany and France.
Portugal takes on Wales in the first semifinal clash while World Champions Germany collide with France in the second match.
We take a preview of the two contests with prediction as to which two teams will reach the final.
Game 1: Portugal Vs Wales
No one ever predicted this semifinal to happen and yet, here we are! Portugal which somehow managed to qualify from Group F, rolled past Croatia and Poland in the Round of 16 and Quarterfinal stages respectively. Meanwhile, Wales are living a dream. The darkest of dark horses have made it to their first-ever semifinal appearance at a major tournament. Barring their Group stage loss to England, the Red Dragons are in red-hot form.
Touted to be the clash between two of the biggest football stars – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Gareth Bale (Wales), the match has high expectations from football fans around the world.
Possible Starting XI
Portugal – Rui Patrício, Cédric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Carvalho, Nani, João Mário, Guerreiro, Sanches, Fonte, Danilo, Adrien Silva.
Wales – Ashley Williams, Joe Allen, Hennessey, Chester, Gareth Bale, Robson-Kanu, Collins, Gunter, Ledley, Jonathan Williams, Taylor.
Venue: Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon
Watch the Game: 7 July, Thursday at 12:30 AM (IST) live on Sony SIX and Sony ESPN.
Prediction: Portugal. The Welsh dream of reaching a maiden tournament final would be halted by Cristiano Ronaldo’s red and green army.
Game 2: Germany Vs France
The host nation France takes on a depleted German side in the second semifinal clash at Marseille. After putting an end to Iceland’s magical run in the Quarterfinals, France will look forward to its first competitive win over Germany since 1958. Germany without the services of Mario Gomez, Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger is still a major threat with match winners like Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze who can spring to the occasion.
Possible Starting XI
Germany – Manuel Neuer, Kimmich, Julian Draxler, Boateng, Mesut Ozil, Howedes, Hector, Thomas Muller, Emre Can, Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze.
France – Bacary Sagna, Dimitri Payet, Rami, Hugo Lloris, Koscielny, Evra, Matuidi, Kante, Pogba, Griezmann, Oliver Giroud.
Venue: Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Watch the Game: 8 July, Friday at 12:30 AM (IST) live on Sony SIX and Sony ESPN.
Prediction: Germany. The World Champions are expected to hold their nerves and cruise through to the finals.