The defending champions face one of the main candidates for their crown at the Round of 16 as Portugal and Belgium lock horns in Seville on Sunday. Selecao will once again count on Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Red Devils seem stronger then ever, so the show will be guaranteed.
Where and when: Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla – 27 June, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Belgium vs. Portugal: TBC
Last time: The last meeting between those countries ended in a 0-0 draw in a friendly that took place in Brussels back in 2018.
Belgium v Portugal Predictions and Preview
Group F was called the Group of Death for a reason and the fact that reigning champions Portugal finished third is proving that. Nevertheless, Fernando Santos’ men progress to the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams in the Group Stage.
However, Selecao face Belgium next and although Cristiano Ronaldo seems as sharp as ever, things aren’t looking rosy at the back. Conceding six goals against Germany and France shows that Portugal can no longer count on defending against the top teams.
The 66-year-old tactician has been counting on shutting down oppositions and pouncing on the break, but the truth is this plan hasn’t been working for a while. Joao Cancello’s absence seems to be taking it’s toll on the team, while injuries of Nelson Semedo and defensive midfielder Danilo Pereira mean that options are now limited.
Therefore all eyes will once again be on Cristiano Ronaldo as he has scored three times against Belgium in his career. CR7’s brace from the spot against France took his tally to five goals and means that he is now leading the goalscoring list at Euro 2020.
The Portuguese captain is also only a goal away from becoming the top international goalscorer of all time, as he is currently tied at 109 strikes with Iranian Ali Daei.
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Over 2.5 goals
Both teams to score
However, Ronaldo alone might not be enough to see off the Belgians, as Roberto Martinez’s team dominated their group by winning all of their games and scored seven times in the process.
The Red Devils conceded just once – against Denmark, but nevertheless their defense remains their weakest point. Portugal will be much more dangerous than the Danes, Finland and Russia, but with Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, Belgium will hope to outscore Selecao.
Each of Portugal’s last four games have seen over 2.5 goals, while the presence of Ronaldo guarantees goals, so a well-balanced, high-scoring affair might be on the cards.
Belgium’s commanding form puts them as slight favorites at 29/20, while Portugal’s chances are rated at 2/1. However, the draw seems a more reasonable choice, so you can bet on it at 11/5 with William Hill
One to watch for Belgium: Romelu Lukaku has already found the back of the net three times in as many group games. The Inter Milan forward will be eager to build up on that when he faces Portugal, so you can bet on him to score the opener on Sunday at 7/2.
One to watch for Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo might be 36, but he barely shows any signs of slowing down. The Juventus superstar is currently leading the goalscoring chart at Euro 2020 with five goals, so backing him up to break the deadlock against Belgium at 2/1 seems like a logical choice.
Long shot: Portugal conceded six goals against Germany and France, while Belgium showcased their stellar attack, but remain vulnerable at the back. Portugal have also seen over 2.5 goals in each of their last four games, so if you are looking for big odds you can bet for a 2-2 draw at 14/1 with William Hill.