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Factbox - Euro 2016 semi-finalists form guide

14   //    04 Jul 2016, 19:24 IST
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Wales News Conference - COSEC Stadium, Dinard, France - 4/7/16 - Wales' Gareth Bale during the news conference. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Wales News Conference - COSEC Stadium, Dinard, France - 4/7/16 - Wales' Gareth Bale during the news conference. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - With four teams remaining at Euro 2016, below is a guide to the form of the semi-finalists, looking at their strengths and weaknesses.


    France's form and that of forward Antoine Griezmann have gone hand in hand with both improving as the tournament has progressed.

Like France, Griezmann has got better and better and the speedy Atletico Madrid attacker is now the tournament's top scorer with four goals.

Griezmann, who scored one and set up another in Sunday's 5-2 win over Iceland, is clearly France's most dangerous weapon, although they have other attacking talents such as Olivier Giroud, who scored twice against Iceland, and Dimitri Payet, who also scored and assisted.

    The host nation boosted their confidence with a scintillating performance against Iceland and showed they could take the game to their opponents from the first whistle, which they had failed to do with sluggish starts in their previous matches.

    Coach Didier Deschamps, who has tinkered with his team, seems to have found the right formula in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Griezmann playing close to Giroud up front. With holding midfielder N'Golo Kante available to play against Germany after missing the Iceland game through suspension, however, he might be tempted to revert to a tighter, 4-3-3 system.

    Deschamps's worries are clearly at the back. Centre back Samuel Umtiti, who won his first cap against Iceland, was not totally commanding and Adil Rami, who was suspended, could return to face Germany.

Rami, however, has shown signs of nerves on several occasions, as has left back Patrice Evra, leaving France's defence looking vulnerable, notably from set pieces.   


Germany will be a different team from the one that beat Italy when they take on hosts France in Thursday's semi-final.

    Their backline will be missing the suspended Mats Hummels, who had contributed greatly to Germany's four-match run without conceding a goal prior to Italy scoring against them in the quarter-finals.

    Coach Joachim Loew could return to a four-man backline with Benedikt Hoewedes, solid so far, partnering Jerome Boateng in the centre with Jonas Hector and Joshua Kimmich as full backs.

    Loew will also be without his only out-and-out striker Mario Gomez, who muscled his way into the starting lineup during the tournament, squeezing Mario Goetze on to the bench and scoring twice.

    The forward, who was in fine form after also topping the Turkish league's scorers' list last season, has been ruled out with a muscle injury he sustained in the quarter-final.

Midfielders Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger are both doubtful for the game against France after also suffering injuries against Italy.


Portugal have reached the semi-final without winning any of their five games inside 90 minutes or putting an a truly convincing performance.

But, with a strong defence and the permanent threat that Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo could strike at any moment, they have proved to be extremely difficult opponents to beat.

In fact, they have not lost in 12 competitive internationals since Fernando Santos took over at the start of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

The team revolves around Ronaldo even though he sometimes appear to be an overbearing presence on his team mates and his insistence on taking every free kick has caused them to waste precious attacking opportunities.

Santos has insisted he is happy for his team to be considered the "ugly duckling" although there is a sense that if Portugal's top players were all to click, they could be a genuinely entertaining side.


Wales were initially carried on the shoulders of Gareth Bale but the burden of attacking responsibility seems to be spreading through the team with captain Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes scoring in their superb quarter-final victory over Belgium.

Bale remains the attacking talisman in the Wales team, a focal point for so much of their forward play, but there is enough talent elsewhere for them not to be considered a one-man side.

Midfielder Joe Allen has played the deep lying playmaker role to perfection, immaculately recycling possession and proving a deft link between defence and attack, while centre back Williams has grown in stature throughout the tournament.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey, however, will be suspended for the semi-final against Portugal, after he picked up a booking against Belgium and his absence is likely to be keenly felt.

Ramsey has contributed to five of Wales's 10 goals at the tournament, scoring one and providing four assists. Defender Ben Davies will also miss the match through suspension.

(Reporting by Patrick Vignal, Karolos Grohmann, Brian Homewood and Toby Davis,; editing by Ed Osmond)

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