On Sunday, European heavyweights Portugal and Belgium face off in one of the most high-profile Round of 16 matchups at Euro 2020.
Now that all of Belgium’s best players have regained fitness, boss Roberto Martinez will be overjoyed. In their last group game against Finland, Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel, and Eden Hazard all returned to the starting lineup. They also have Romelu Lukaku in excellent form, so it will be interesting to see who all plays against Portugal.
Meanwhile, Fernando Santos, the manager of Portugal, has a few selection issues. Germany effectively nullified Portugal’s danger, but they performed admirably against France. For the match against Les Bleus, Santos shuffled his pack. He has a lot of decisions to make before the crucial match against Belgium.
In the Euro 2020 Round of 16, Portugal will face a stiff battle against Belgium.
The Red Devils have gone 12 games without losing, so Portugal will have their work cut out for them. If they are to overcome the challenge offered by Kevin De Bruyne and his teammates, they will have to put their best foot forward.
Without further ado, here’s how Portugal might line up against Belgium in the Euro 2020 Round of 16 match.
Goalkeeper for Portugal
When Rui Patricio threw himself to his right to save a Paul Pogba curler that was heading for the top corner, he performed perhaps the best save of Euro 2020 thus far. Patricio has performed admirably for Portugal thus far. He also made outstanding saves against Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
Despite conceding four goals against Germany, Patricio couldn’t do much about it because it was mostly due to Portugal’s defensive shortcomings. The goalkeeper for Wolverhampton Wanderers is anticipated to preserve his starting spot.
— ѕєáη_7 (@BayBoyG43) June 23, 2021
Nelson Semedo was forced to leave the game against France due to injury, but he has returned to training and is poised to play ahead of Diogo Dalot. Portugal has been without Joao Cancelo since the Manchester City midfielder tested positive for Covid-19.
Hope it’s nothing serious, @_nelsonsemedo_ 💛
Chin up, never a pen. 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/ER8tAKCyEM
— Wolves (@Wolves) June 23, 2021
Ruben Dias and Pepe have a lot to prove after allowing six goals in three games in the Euro 2020 group stage. In games against Hungary and France, Dias has struggled, while veteran Pepe has performed admirably. The centre-back duo will face yet another strong offensive line, and Santos will be hoping they can rise to the occasion.
Raphael Guerreiro impressed against France and is expected to start at left-back for France.