We’re in store for a fantastic semi-final tie between Spain
The total line for this encounter is at two goals, with a
lot of the action coming in on the OVER. There's an alternate line available at
Bovada also which has 2.5 goals, and the UNDER (-230) is getting heavy play
Spain entered Euro 2012 as one of the favorites and have
lived up to the hype for the most part.
It started in the group stages, where the Spaniards went
unbeaten in a tough draw alongside Italy, Croatia and Ireland. They scored in
every match, the highlight a 4-0 thumping of the Irish on June 14.
Qualifying as the number one seed in the group, Spain
waltzed into the quarter-finals to play the second-placed team from Group D,
Dominating quarter-final showing
What a show the Spanish side put on.
Vincent del Bosque went with his smaller starting XI,
choosing Cesc Fabregas over Fernando Torres, and Spain completely dominated
possession throughout. It was a mesmerizing passing display like we’ve seen
countless times from Barcelona.
That said, the two goals for Spain came from a Real Madrid
man. Xabi Alonso scored on a header in the first half off a beautiful run from
Jordi Alba and then capped off his brace with a penalty kick in the closing
The 2-0 victory was fully deserved in every way. But, will
Spain be able to keep another cleansheet up against a rejuvenated Cristiano
Portugal has been a pleasant surprise so far in this
competition. After an opening loss to Germany, they beat both Denmark and
Netherlands to move on as the second seed out of Group B.
They then went and recorded a 1-0 quarter-final triumph over
Czech Republic in a match they completely bossed.
It was a vintage display from Ronaldo and the Portuguese,
who tallied 20 total shots, five of which were on frame. Compare that to the
Czechs’ two shots and it’s evident the better team went through.
Wednesday's semi-final is going to be a battle between two
different styles of play.
Will Spain’s relentless tiki-taka method, based on
possession and short passes, propel them to a win? Or will Portugal's solid
team play, highlighted by the sheer brilliance of Ronaldo, prove too much?
One thing we do know is that, after a shaky start to the
competition, the Real Madrid star has been practically unstoppable over the
past few matches.
No player has accumulated more chances than Ronaldo. He
already has 14 attempts on target and 15 off target for a total of 29. The next
closest is Italy’s Mario Balotelli, who has 21 combined.
Considering the number of opportunities he generates, as
well as Spain’s attacking prowess, we do think the right play may be on the
OVER in this semi-final.
The Spaniards have scored eight goals so far in the
tournament, second-most behind Germany, while the Portuguese have netted six
What’s more, Portugal may have allowed only four goals in
this tournament, but holding a Czech Republic team, a side lacking any real
attacking bite, without a goal doesn’t really give us a good handle of where
this defense stands right now.
Just look at the group stages for reference. The Portuguese
gave up at least one goal in each of the matches, including allowing in two by
Denmark. Now they play Spain, a team that can shred a defense in a matter of
seconds. This is going to be a herculean task for the Portugal backline.
FREE Pick: OVER 2 goals
Be on the lookout
for a pick on the side for this semi-final tomorrow!