Portugal v Austria, Saturday June 18
St Denis, Live on BBC, 8pm
On Saturday night (8pm live on BBC1) Portugal meet Austria in a crucial Group F match in the Stade de France with both sides looking for their first victory in Euro 2016.
Portugal – the story so far
Portugal were utterly frustrated by Iceland in their opening game, and star man Cristiano Ronaldo threw his toys out of the pram at full time walking off without shaking the hands of the Iceland players before criticising them in the post-match interviews. Portugal were prolific during the game taking 21 shots, 9 of them on target, but only had Nani’s first half strike to show for their endeavours
Defensively Portugal were about to restrict Iceland to just 4 shots, but a massive lapse at the back was the catalyst for Bjarnason’s equaliser. Aside from that they were relatively untroubled by Iceland so it’s difficult to gauge how they will cope with a stronger attacking threat. In Austria they will be coming up against a team with far more quality, so we should get a far better sense for how realistic their Euro 2016 threat is by full time.
Austria – the story so far
Austria may have come in to the tournament as dark horses, but their performance against Hungary can only be described as absolutely pony. The brightest moment of the game probably came within the first 30 seconds of kick off when Daniel Alaba rattled the post with a long-range effort, but thereafter, despite creating a number of presentable opportunities Austria were unable to convert any of them, before Adam Szalai goal – a man who had previously gone 18 months without a goal put them on the back foot.
The defining moment of the game came in the 66th minute when Aleksandar Dragovic thought his side had equalised on to see the referee brandish a second yellow card instead. Down to ten men and a goal behind Austria did make a good fist of scoring an equalising goal, but as the game went in to injury and having committed too many men forward, they were caught by a Hungarian sucker punch.
Despite the disappointing results for both of these teams in the opening round of matches, they will both feel that they still have a very realistic chance of qualifying from Group F, and even a chance of topping the group with a win. Normally this might suggest a breathless, open contest, but given the way the games have gone in Euro 2016 to date, it seems more like that we’ll see a cagey game settle by a single goal.
- Under 1.5 goals @
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