Despite criticism that the side haven’t been at their best, Spain find themselves in the Euro 2012 semi-final, looking good prospects to beat Portugal at 10/11 in 90 minutes.
Whilst many have been disappointed with Spanish showings thus far, it should be noted that they have actually conceded just once and scored eight times in their four games at the tournament.
That one goal came in their opening tie, and having markedly improved defensively since then, they could keep Portugal out for the third time in the past five meetings of the nations.
Vicente del Bosque appears to have found the correct balance to his side, and a much more well-rounded display was the result as Spain conquered France 2-0 on Saturday.
Said performance was Spain’s finest at the tournament, especially considering the calibre of their opponents, which is worrying for a Portugal side that has at times looked ordinary in Poland and Ukraine.
Indeed, Portugal have already suffered defeat in the competition, when bested by Germany in their tournament opener, and have conceded four times in as many matches also.
They have scored only five goals, and a heavy reliance on captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who has provided three of their strikes, could eventually prove the Portuguese’s downfall.
Spain are likely to dominate possession, as proven by their dictation of each game throughout the tournament, where they have enjoyed more of the ball than their opponents on every occasion.
Therefore, Ronaldo’s direct influence on the game could be reduced, thus stifling Portugal’s greatest hope of stopping the Spaniards.
The Spanish meanwhile are used to exuding dominance in the latter stages of competitions, as proven by their recent record in knockout competition.
Six wins in normal time have emerged from Spain’s last eight knockout clashes in World Cup or European championship competition, and they have gone on to triumph in all of these games by some means, making 2/5 odds on Spanish qualification highly justifiable.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.