Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Portugal to take on England at Wembley.

Portugal are out to prove they're more than just Cristiano Ronaldo when they take on England at Wembley... and who are the youngsters looking to shine at Euro 2016?

Chain-smoking Portugal boss Fernando Santos has a hard-earned reputation as one of football's arch-realists but he makes no attempt to disguise his intentions at Euro 2016.
'I believe Portugal can get to the final and win, and so do the players,' said Santos, preparing for his first major tournament with his home nation after taking Greece to two.
His approach is a far cry from England and their seemingly perpetual quest to lower expectations. Then again, he does have the morale-boosting presence of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos (centre) believes his side have a good chance of winning Euro 2016
Portugal boss Fernando Santos (centre) believes his side have a good chance of winning Euro 2016
The chain-smoking manager takes a training session at the Portuguese camp near Lisbon
The chain-smoking manager takes a training session at the Portuguese camp near Lisbon

With Ronaldo around it must feel like anything is possible, and Santos appears to have shaped his team to suit the changing style of his captain and talisman, who is set to operate at centre-forward in the tournament.
This Portugal team has evolved from their typical fast and expansive 4-3-3 system towards a 4-3-2-1 or 4-4-2 shape, packing more players around Ronaldo.
At 31, the Real Madrid star creates fewer of his own chances through pace, power and those trademark runs through open spaces but has certainly not lost his clinical goal knack.
Santos is big on collective spirit. The Portuguese have adopted the slogan: 'Nao somos 11 somos 11 milhoes' for Euro 2016. It means: 'We are not 11 we are 11 million'.
Former Manchester United forward Nani is fighting for a starting berth alongside Ronaldo at Euro 2016
Former Manchester United forward Nani is fighting for a starting berth alongside Ronaldo at Euro 2016
Daniel Carrico (right) plays a pass next to veteran defender Ricardo Carvalho (second from right)
Daniel Carrico (right) plays a pass next to veteran defender Ricardo Carvalho (second from right).

There may be a little less flamboyance but there remains plenty of individual flair with Nani and Ricardo Quaresma apparently contesting the right to operate as a support striker, behind Ronaldo.
Also, the fondness to tumble and over-react will endure. Expect Pepe to be the lead thespian when he arrives but Norway boss Per-Mathias Hogmo was not impressed with Eder's antics during a friendly in Porto, on Sunday. 'Modern football,' Hogmo sighed with a shake of his head.
Joao Mario and Andre Lopes are leading the options to start in wide midfield, from where they tuck inside with the real width supplied by the full-backs, very much like Roy Hodgson's new-look England team.
Renato Sanches (left) and William Carvalho (right) jog during a Portuguese training session
Renato Sanches (left) and William Carvalho (right) jog during a Portuguese training session
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Pepe (right) will not play at Wembley after featuring in the Champions League final
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Pepe (right) will not play at Wembley after featuring in the Champions League final.

Deep in midfield, Santos is expected to blend the physical presence of William Carvalho with Joao Moutinho's vision and range of passing. Options here will come from Adrien Silva, Danilo Pereira and teenager Renato Sanches.
The system worked very well as they beat Norway 3-0, with Quaresma dazzling in a supporting role behind Eder, while full-backs Cedric Soares and Rapheal Guerreiro impressed in attack.
'Good not fantastic,' said Santos. He will anticipate a tougher test at Wembley when preparations continue in the absence of Ronaldo and Pepe, still relaxing in the glory of another Champions League win.
'Cristiano is a fantastic player, a key player for us and we are here to help him,' said Southampton full-back Cedric. 'He is unbelievable. He beats every record. There are no words.
Southampton defender Cedric Soares insisted that Portugal have other good players beyond Ronaldo
Southampton defender Cedric Soares insisted that Portugal have other good players beyond Ronaldo.

'But we have other good players and I am very happy with our team. If we keep playing as we are and improving, we will be in a good place at the Euros.'
England have not beaten Portugal in five attempts since 1998 and this Wembley fixture is the first meeting since the World Cup quarter-final in Gelsenkirchen when Sven-Goran Eriksson's team were beaten on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
'Each game has a different story,' said Cedric. 'We need to fight and we need to be together. We need to be at our best level to beat England.
'It's a friendly but for us friendly games don't really exist. We are going to be at our best. This is a very important game for us. We always look to win, so it's going to be a very competitive game.'.

PORTUGAL SQUAD FOR EURO 2016 

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Eduardo (Dynamo Zagreb), Rui Patricio (Sporting)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Cedric (Southampton), Jose Fonte (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), Pepe (Real Madrid), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient), Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco), Vieirinha (VfL Wolfsburg).
Midfielders: Adrien Silva (Sporting), Joao Mario (Sporting), William Carvalho (Sporting), Andre Gomes (Valencia), Danilo Pereira (Porto), Renato Sanches (Benfica), Joao Moutinho (Monaco)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Lille), Nani (Fenerbahce), Rafa (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas).







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