Friday, 17 June 2016 00:00

EURO 2016 - Portugal vs Austria - MATCH PREVIEW

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EURO 2016 - Portugal vs Austria - Preview EURO 2016 - Portugal vs Austria - Preview collage

Portugal and Austria will look to overcome the disappointments of their opening fixtures when they take on each other at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, June 18. This Group F encounter could decide the future of these two teams.

Portugal came to France as one of the dark horses who can go a long way – thanks to the presence of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. But the Portuguese were frustrated in their first game against Iceland which ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw.

The presence of Ronaldo did nothing to deter the stocky Iceland defence while the likes of Nani, Ricardo Quaresma and Joao Moutinho couldn’t find an answer to the stern test. To be frank, the draw was a fair result to both the sides in a game that didn’t see Ronaldo in his full flow.

If Portugal came up with a point against Iceland, Austria had a bitter pill to swallow against Hungary. Expected to be one of the teams to watch after their impressive qualification, Austria were left to rue their profligacy in the final third. David Alaba tested the Hungarian goal many times and was unlucky to have not scored a goal.

This came back to haunt Austria which eventually lost 2-0 and even had to see Aleksandar Dragovic receive his marching orders. The loss puts Austria’s chances in jeopardy and they would need to win against Portugal or risk complicating their progression to last 16.

The ageing Ricardo Carvalho will be monitored closely before being pushed for another start. Portugal will also look at replacing the right-back Veirinha. For Austria, the questions start with replacing the suspended Dragovic. There could be other changes as well and we might get to see more attacking intent from Austria.

Portugal failed to win four of their last eight games with three losses in that period. They have scored in eight of their last 11 games which indicates their attacking intent. Despite their strong qualification campaign, Austria struggled in the run-up to Euros with four losses in their last six matches. Even the wins against Albania and Malta were unconvincing. And with just two clean sheets there is so much riding on them letting at least a goal.

Back both teams to score a goal and also for Ronaldo to find the back of the net.

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