EURO 2016: Croatia-Portugal
The most stand-out fixture of the round of 16 games scheduled for Saturday, the clash between Croatia and Portugal promises to be a fascinating display. The Croatians proved their stunning form by topping what was considered the group of death. Portugal, on the other hand, have been also performing well but their results have been disappointing so far as they only claimed three draws in the group and were actually lucky to make it to the knock-out stage at all. Consequently, Croatia are expected to prevail in this attractive battle. Kicking off at 9 PM (CET), the game Croatia vs. Portugal will be played at Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.
Croatia were expected to do well at the championship but so far, this Balkan teamÃ‚Â´s performance and results have exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. Croatia started their campaign with a comfortable 1:0 victory over Turkey and they were close to winning their second game too as they were already leading 2:0 against the Czech Republic but a short lapse in their concentration allowed the Czechs to level the score. The last group match drew Croatia against the defending European champions Spain. The Spanish took a quick lead through Morata with just seven minutes on the clock but CacicÃ‚Â´s side managed to equalize at the end of the first half. The second half was very tight but eventually, it was Croatia who scored the winner with just three minutes remaining. With this glorious win in bag, the Croatian team topped the Group D. The round of 16 draw was quite merciless to Croatia as it pitted them against strong Portugal but the current form of the Croatian team suggests they have a good chances of eliminating Ronaldo and co.
Boasting one of the strongest teams at the tournament, Portugal have a full right to have medal ambitions at EURO 2016 but so far, the star-studded teamÃ‚Â´s results have been disappointing. There are no complaints about their performance but PortugalÃ‚Â´s finish has been a huge headache for them. Portugal dominated all of their group matches and they created a number of chances but their ineffective finish has prevented them from winning a single match so far. Naturally, Selecao have been heavily relying on their brightest star Ronaldo but the Real MadridÃ‚Â´s sniper failed to deliver in any of the first two matches. It was not until the last group clash against Hungary when Ronaldo finally found the net Ã¢â‚¬â€œ even twice. With another goal from Nani, Portugal scored 3 goals in their rivalsÃ‚Â´ net but unfortunately for SantosÃ‚Â´ squad, their defence had a bad day in this match, allowing Hungary to score 3 goals too. Eventually, Portugal only claimed yet another draw in the game. Obviously, the team are not in their best form and they are likely to have a hard time facing Croatia in the round of 16.
The Bollaert-Delelis Stadium in Lens will host a great game that is certainly not to miss, featuring a battle between two of the tournamentÃ‚Â´s heavyweights Croatia and Portugal. Both of these teams have a number of world-class players in their squads but in terms of current form, Croatia have the edge as they were very impressive in the group stage. Portugal, on the other hand, are looking forward to playing against a strong opponents who do not base their game on total defence. Will the Portuguese be able to take advantage of that? Or will Croatia give another superb display and claim the win? We will know by Saturday night.
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