Euro 2016 Poland vs Portugal Quarterfinal Preview
Poland may not be setting the Euro 2016 tournament alight with dazzling displays, but they are showing they are an efficient and solid team who are difficult to break down, something that should worry Portugal fans.
Unbeaten in the group stages with a 0-0 draw against Germany, and 1-0 victories against both Ukraine and Northern Ireland, Poland earned their place in the knockout stages on merit.
The Poles may have needed penalties to see of Switzerland in the Round of 16 game last weekend, yet they showed some fluid attacking and resolute defending during the 120-minutes.
Odds of +280 for a Polish victory do look short considering their lack of goalscoring options, although Jakub Blaszczykowski has bagged two goals and an assist so far, making his +400 to score at anytime looking decent value.
Also note that Robert Lewandowski is yet to find the back of the net at Euro 2015, he is +500 to score first, and +230 to score at any point in the game. If ever Poland needed the Bayern Munich man to score a goal, it is in this fixture.
Portugal have been less than convincing throughout this tournament, yet here they are in the quarter-finals once again.
The Portuguese looked second-best for large portions of their Round of 16 game against Croatia, managing only six shots on goal to their opponent’s 17, although the Croatian finishing was awful, with none of those shots hitting the target.
Portugal eventually progressed to the next round after Cristiano Ronaldo’s 117th minute shot was parried by the Croatian goalkeeper, and Ricard Quaresma nodded in the rebound. How much extra time took out of Portuguese legs remains to be seen.
Cristiano Ronaldo loves the big stage, so expect him to put in a blinding performance against Poland. The Real Madrid forward is +280 to open the scoring and +130 to score during the 90-minutes.
Portugal find themselves installed as +115 favorites to beat Poland over 90-minutes and that looks the most likely result in my eyes. A 1-0 Portugal win can be found at +480.
If Poland can prevent Portugal from scoring early, they could steal a draw (+200), but once the Portuguese have their tails up, they take some beating and look dangerous coming forward.