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2018/19 UEFA Nations League finals, Portugal vs Switzerland: 5 Key players to watch out for

Varis Sharma
ANALYST
Feature
05 Jun 2019, 17:03 IST

Portugal vs Switzerland, UEFA Nations League Semi-finals
Portugal vs Switzerland, UEFA Nations League Semi-finals

The inaugural season of the UEFA Nations League will be coming to an end this week with four teams, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands and England fighting it out to win the very first edition of this competition.

The finals will take place in Portugal this year with Porto and Guimarães serving as the host cities. The first semi-final between Portugal and Switzerland will be played at the Estadio do Dragao, Porto.

Portugal were drawn with Italy and Poland in the group stage and qualified for the finals comfortably with 2 wins and 2 draws. The current European champions were without their star player Cristiano Ronaldo during the group stage, however, the 34-year-old Juventus forward is all set to make an appearance during the finals.

Switzerland locked horns with Belgium and Iceland in the group stage and qualified for the finals in dramatic fashion as they defeated Belgium on the final match day 5-2 after conceding 2 goals within the first 20 minutes of the game. Both Belgium and Switzerland had 9 points, however, the latter progressed due to a superior goal difference.

We shall now take a look at 5 key players that will play a vital role in this all-important semi-final between Portugal and Switzerland.


#5 Gonçalo Guedes (Portugal)

Goncalo Guedes playing for the Portuguese national team
Goncalo Guedes playing for the Portuguese national team

The 22-year-old winger has made 15 appearances for the Portugal National Team and was a part of the Portuguese squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He scored his first international goal on 10 November 2017 against Saudi Arabia and also provided an assist for Manuel Fernandes earlier in the game.

He was loaned to Spanish side Valencia CF in 2017 by Paris Saint-Germain and was signed by the former for €40 million in August 2018. The winger made 38 appearances for Valencia this season scoring 8 goals and won the Copa del Rey as Valencia ended Barcelona's 4-year reign over the Spanish cup competition.

Guedes has a great passing ability due to his awareness about the position of his teammates on the pitch. Along with his passing abilities, he can also dribble past defenders and find spaces in the final third to set up his teammates.

He will play a pivotal role in Wednesday's semi-final against Switzerland and his link-up with Cristiano Ronaldo will help Portugal pose a threat to the Swiss defence.

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