Euro 2016 semi-finals: Real duo Ronaldo and Bale battle as Portugal collide with Wales
Lee Gormley | July 4, 2016
Portugal v Wales
- Euro 2016 semi-final
- Wednesday, July 6th
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST
- Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines
- Live on ITV
Portugal clash with in-form Welshmen
Real Madrid stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will come face-to-face in France on Wednesday night as their respective nations Portugal and Wales collide in the Euro 2016 semi-finals, a fixture which the heroic Home Nation have won once in three previous meetings.
Fernando Santos’ Portuguese side have incredibly reached the semi-final stage without winning a single match inside 90 minutes, having drawn all five games so far, including an extra-time success against Croatia and a penalty shoot-out victory over Poland last time out.
Wales, however, have been hugely impressive in their campaign under Chris Coleman, downing Belgium in their last 16 clash to reach the final four, and the Dragons are 3/1 with Coral to triumph in 90 minutes, or 13/8 to progress to the final on French soil.
The Navigators could realistically reach the final without a normal time win, but they are 23/20 to end that run with a maiden tournament victory in 90 minutes, while Santos’ men are 21/10 to see out a sixth successive stalemate.
Bale versus Ronaldo takes centre stage
During this intriguing match-up, the key sub-plot is the tussle between Los Blancos attackers Bale and Ronaldo, with the Bernabeu pair set to collide following a club season in which they both lifted the Champions League.
Both players will be desperate to guide their countries to the final and odds of 5/1 can be had on either Bale or Ronaldo scoring a direct free-kick in normal time, with a £20 max stake, after Wales’ wing wizard dispatched two set-pieces in the group stage.
All-time club and country marksman Ronaldo enters proceedings at 5/2 to net anytime and Portugal to prevail in 90 minutes (£20 max), having already struck twice so far in the France finals.
Meanwhile, in-form Bale is in the running for player of the tournament after his dynamic displays and he is 6/1 to add to his tally anytime here and Wales emerge victorious in 90 minutes (£20 max), with this Real rivalry set to be a main feature of the semi-final clash.
Plenty of goal threats on each side
As well as the dynamic duo of Bale and Ronaldo, there are plenty of other potential scorer threats on each side, proven by Wales’ superb 3-1 victory over number two ranked nation in world football Belgium.
Since being released by Reading, Hal Robson-Kanu is now without a club but is doing a great job of putting himself in the shop window, as both Celtic and Swansea City reportedly track his signature this summer. After his Cruyff-turn goal against the Belgians, he is 15/8 to strike again anytime in 90 minutes.
Towering frontman Sam Vokes also got in on the act in that success and he is the same price to add to his tally, while midfielders Jonathan Williams (4/1 anytime), Joe Allen (6/1) and Joe Ledley (8/1) could also have a say on proceedings.
Portugal and Fenerbahce winger Nani has been inspirational to his nation’s progression so far, and the former Manchester United forward is 2/1 to get his name on the scoresheet once again, with reliant wideman and last 16 hero Ricardo Quaresma the same price.
Bayern Munich’s teenage sensation Renato Sanches has lived up to his billing as one of the hottest prospects in Europe this summer, and he is 10/3 to strike in Decines, while midfielders Joao Moutinho and Andre Gomes are both 7/1 chances.
Due to the suspension rules which have caused a stir this summer, both nations will miss key players, with Wales being without Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Tottenham defender Ben Davies, while Portugal will have to do without midfield anchorman William Carvalho.
In what is set to be a tense affair at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, a red card to be shown in normal time is 7/2, while 9/2 can be had on this clash being yet another to go all the way to penalties, as both Portugal and Wales look to continue their respective runs on French soil.
Coral’s top tip: Back a tasty 5/1 match special for either Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale to score a direct free-kick within 90 minutes in this semi-final clash with a £20 max stake.