06/26/2021 at 9:05 PM CEST
Belgium, one of the contenders to win the Eurocup what better sensations has he given so far, and Portugal, current tournament champion, They will fight on Sunday at the La Cartuja stadium to overcome the eighth and be next Friday at the Allianz Arena in Munich in a new step towards the title.
In Seville, one of the stellar matches of this round is presented, in which the forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the great asset of the Portuguese, as he has shown with the five goals he has added in all three group stage matches, while in the Belgians, who count their matches by wins, They trust the progression of Real Madrid player Eden Hazard and in one of its stars, Kevin de Bruyne.
The ‘Red Devils’, with the work on the bench of the Spanish Roberto Martínez, have earned respect on the continent and have the aspiration to fight for a title, something they have not achieved since reaching the final of the 1980 Euro Cup in Italy.
To do this they reach the second round after reaping three victories, against Russia (3-0), Denmark (1-2) and Finland (0-2), with a relentless Romelu Lukaku who adds three goals and an inspired Kevin de Bruyne as a conductor.
The Inter striker and the Manchester City midfielder, voted best players of the season in Serie A and in the Premier League, respectively, are being the most prominent of a Belgium in which also have played at a good level for Atlético de Madrid Yannick Carrasco, Borussia Dortmund defender Thomas Meunier or his clubmate Thorgan Hazard.
Except for the absence of Timoty Castagne, out for the entire championship After breaking his face on the first day, Roberto Martínez has his entire list available after the additions of Witsel and De Bruyne after overcoming their ailments.
The captain also seems almost ready, Eden Hazard, who after two seasons of injuries and without continuity at Real Madrid played the entire match against Finland, leaving good feelings and signing his first full game with the national team since November 2019.
The Belgians, third in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, have an exceptional midfield and lead, but showed weaknesses in defense in the first 45 minutes against Denmark, in which the Nordics besieged them, although they finally controlled the game and were able to come back.
The Lleida coach of Belgium, who has chained twelve games without losing since November 2020 against England, is confident that the veteran Thomas Vermaelen (35 years), a Japanese Vissel Kobe footballer and former Arsenal, Rome and Barcelona player, serve to reinforce Thibaut Courtois’ goal wall.
In front of them, Portugal also confirmed that it is aspiring to revalidate its title and that is tremendously difficult to beat. And more with Cristiano Ronaldo on a roll. He survived in the group of death despite the blow of the defeat against Germany.
In the momentous duel against France in Budapest, he was able to bring out his competitive character to continue in the tournament. The duel against Belgium will not be minor and Fernando Santos and his players know that they must maintain that spirit block and the balance that has given so much revenue.
The Portuguese coach could form with a midfield made up of Joao Palinha, Renato Sanches and Joao Moutinho. These last two, who were the great novelties in the eleven against France, fulfilled with note, as did the Sporting Lisbon midfielder, who replaced Danilo Pereira at halftime after suffering a hard blow from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Pahlinha has adapted well to playing ahead of a defense of four. In his team he does it with a behind of five and Fernando Santos is more than satisfied with his performance. However, Danilo assured that the blow had been a scare and that he was fine.
Renato Sanches seems to have won the game against Betic William Carvalho, starting the first two games, and Moutinho may have more options than Bruno Fernandes, whose performance is superior when his team plays with two defensive midfielders.
The rear is as immovable as the attack, with the magic of Bernardo Silva, the speed and mobility of Diogo Jota and with Cristiano Ronaldo as the spearhead. The top scorer of the Eurocup has before him more records to break at the gates of a new scorers’ duel with Romelu Lukaku. Both topped the Serie A table this season. The Portuguese with 29 targets and the Belgian with 24, but this was crowned league champion.
Cristiano Ronaldo is on a roll. He has scored in the first three games and to repeat he would stand alone as the top scorer in the history of the national teams after leaving behind the Iranian Ali Daei. The Madeira striker traditionally has not been bad at facing Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian goalkeeper now represents the present of Real Madrid, just like Eden Hazard. Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe to the past. A duel of two pairs is served that can be as decisive as the two ‘partners’ of Manchester City, Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne.
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vermaelen; Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard; Carrasco, Lukaku, Eden Hazard.
Portugal: Rui Patricio; Nelson Semedo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Guerreiro; Joao Moutinho, Palinha, Renato Sanches; Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota.
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany).
Stadium: La Cartuja (Seville).