Euro 2016: Portugal vs Wales – Live stream info, probable line-up, head to head(h2h)record and match preview
Portugal and Wales face off in the first of the two semifinals of the UEFA Euro 2016 at the Stade de Lyon in Lyon. While this the first taste of a major international tournament semi-final for Wales, Portugal have been involved in seven last-four clashes before this one. However, they have been victorious in just one of them, the Euro 2004 semi-final where they defeated the Netherlands 2-1.
Wales have defied all odds and riding on some great performances from Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale, have reached the penultimate stage of the tournament. On the other hand, Portugal, finished third in their group and qualified for the last four without winning a single match in regulation time. The match, which has been dubbed as the face-off between Real Madrid teammates Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will decide the first finalist of the tournament.
Here’s what the coaches had to say.
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach
“We're responsible for writing our own history. History and tradition is important for people and countries, and that helps us here, but we're writing a new chapter now. This is a gigantic step towards our goal against incredibly strong opponents. It will be complicated but we have the talent to win it.
“It's not about Cristiano v Bale, though. All four teams in the semi-finals and every player, they have the same goal. Wales are a very good side, technically gifted. I learned a lot from Jimmy Hagan [an English manager at Benfica when Santos was in his late teens]; the British school of football was very important to me. Wales are very good at it.
“Wales have had an incredible campaign. They came through a tough group and beat Belgium, the No1-ranked team [in Europe] 3-1! I greatly admire Chris Coleman – we spoke once or twice when he was in Greece. I understand why he says we're favourites. I bet he doesn't tell his players that, though.”
Chris Coleman, Wales manager
“We believe in each other. Portugal know what semi-finals are all about; we don't mind being underdogs. It's about my players knowing they are safe in each other's hands – and they are. It's taking that identity onto the pitch.
“I never thought about the semi-finals [before the EURO]. When I thought about the tournament and looked at the group we were in, I thought we were capable of getting out of the group. I know football and anything can happen, but if we got it right I thought we'd get out of the group.
“Everybody's got good team spirit on a shiny day when they're winning. But our team spirit was born in the dark days when things weren't so rosy. It's down to the players. Even if you're the best coach in the world, if you haven't got the players who can go out on the pitch and do it, then it's for nothing. I'm lucky.”
Live Stream and kick-off time
The match will be live from 00:30 IST (Thursday), 20:00 BST (Wednesday). Watch live streaming of Portugal vs Wales on SonyLIV. Follow Portugal vs Wales, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India, ESPN in the USA and ITV 1 in the UK. The match will be played at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
For Portugal, Fernando Santos must be sweating about the situation of Pepe, who was made to train alone after picking up a minor thigh injury. However, in such a crunch match, it is highly probable that he will be made to start as he has been in fine fettle in the tourney. Whereas William Carvalho is suspended for this match.
For Wales, Aaron Ramsey will be badly missed by Coleman as the Arsenal misdfielder has been the best performer for them in the Euros. Ramsey, along with Ben Davies are serving one-game bans after picking up two bookings in their last five matches.
Portugal (4-4-2): Rui Patricio; Cedric, Fonte, Pepe, Guerreiro; Danilo, Joao Mario, Adrien Silva, Sanches; Nani, Ronaldo.
Wales (3-5-2): Hennessey; Chester, Ashley Williams, Collins; Gunter, Allen, Ledley, Jonathan Williams, Taylor; Bale, Robson-Kanu.
Form Guide (Most recent first)
Portugal – DWDDD
Portugal have been riding their luck in the tournament and have somehow managed to reach the last four. While they drew all their group stage matches, they defeated Croatia 1-0 in extra-time and then Poland in the penalty shootout after the match ended 1-1.
Wales – WWWLW
Wales have won four of their five matches in the tournament with their only loss coming against British rivals England on matchday 2.
Head to head record
- Portugal and Wales have met each other thrice before this encounter, with the Portuguese winning two of those matches and Wales one.
- This is the two nations’ first meeting in an international tournament, their three previous matches have all been friendlies.
- They last met in June 2000 when Portugal ran out 3-0 winners.
This match is really a hard one to call as Portugal have been below par so far in the tournament on the attacking front but their defenders have upped the ante in the knockouts and will be a hard side to break down. Wales, on the other hand have been full of energy and running, the main source of which was Aaron Ramsey, who will be missing this match. Only time will tell whether Wales will really miss him or Bale makes up for him.
On the other hand, Portugal have found it hard to break down defences and the 3-5-2 employed by Coleman will be once again a tough defence to break for Ronaldo and Nani. We predict a 1-1 scoreline after extra time and Portugal winning on penalties, again.