- Chris Sobey
The first of the Euro 2016 semi-finals takes place between Portugal and Wales tonight and with Wales winning three of their four Euro 2016 matches, scoring 10 and conceding only two goals and Portugal having not won a game inside 90 minutes, drawing all five so far, it’s fair to say the layers may have underestimated Wales chances of success again tonight.
Wales will be missing the influential Ramsey in midfield, who has assisted four of their 10 goals during this tournament and the experience of defender Davies, as both were suspended after picking up yellow cards against Belgium last time out. However, they still have top scorers Bale and Robson-Kanu in attack, the impressive Joe Allen in midfield, who will no doubt take on a more offensive role with Ramsey out, and they will be difficult to score against as ever with Williams, Chester, Ledley and Collins in defence.
The latter quartet will also provide a threat from set pieces and corners, as will Bale who has already proved his dead-ball skills this tournament with two goals from free kicks. He is also an aerial danger as well and with Portugal looking vulnerable at set pieces so far and with the set-back of defender Carvalho missing due to suspension, Wales may try and be more direct tonight, look to win as many corners and free kicks around the area as they can and put the Portugues defence under as much pressure as possible.
Portugal have a potent attacking threat of their own in Ronaldo, Nani and Quaresma, with the latter proving more influential as the tournament has progressed. While Portugal have not shone upfront, apart from against Hungary, they still pose a serious attacking threat and this trio is more than capable of clicking at any time and taking any defence apart at will.
I think there will be goals tonight as four of Wales’s five Euro 2016 games ending with more than 2 goals and the Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals Match Double is definitely worth considering as a result. I think Wales will score from a corner or set piece tonight and with Ashley Williams already scoring I think the stage could be set for West Ham’s James Collins at 50/1 (1/3 odds 5 places) to step in to the limelight tonight, as he always poses a threat at corners and set pieces, and if Bale provides the service he should get more than a few chances to score.