Belgium and Portugal will animate a duel of candidates in the round of 16 of the Eurocup: time, TV, and formations.
The Portuguese team, the last champion of the tournament, will face a star-studded team that dreams of their first conquest. The winner will play against Italy, who yesterday eliminated Austria in overtime.
The Belgian and Portuguese teams meet this Sunday at La Cartuja in Seville for a ticket to the quarterfinals of the European Championship. In a match in which Roberto Martínez's men will seek to assert their plenary session in the group stage and the Portuguese, led by a Cristiano Ronaldo who is going for a new international record, want to revalidate the 2016 title, the clash will be one of the most attractive of the instance of the 16 best.
Leaders of Group B, after finishing the first phase as one of the only three teams - along with the Netherlands and Italy - with nine points, the Red Devils appear in the round of 16 as one of the great favorites to take the continental title, that touched in the 1980 edition -when he lost in the final in Rome against West Germany (1-2) -.
Belgium wants to go one step further and confirm that its third place in the World Cup in Russia was not the result of chance. Already in the group stage, they beat Russia (3-0), had to endure something else to beat Denmark (1-2), and a comfortable victory over Finland (0-2). Closed with.
All this showing a solid defense, with Kevin de Bruyne holding the handle after recovering from his facial fracture, and above all, protected by a very effective attack.
In just two of the last 58 games with frontman Roberto Martinez, the Belgians have been scoring without a goal: in the 2018 World Cup semifinal against France (0-1) and, especially before this World Cup event, the friendly Against Portugal (0-0)
Once again, the offensive responsibility will fall on Romelu Lukaku, who has scored three goals in the tournament and has scored 23 goals in 21 games with his team since the last World Cup. The Milan striker, who is expected to face Atletico Madrid's Yannick Carrasco and only Edwin Hazard, will have an exciting killer duel with Cristiano Ronaldo.
I want his sieve and the way to hit the ball, but he will want my strength and my goal, he confessed about the Portuguese star before the clash. However, the Red Devils do not want to focus only on the Juventus striker, looking to make history in this duel. If you focus on just one player, the other will kill you, Roberto Martinez warned.
And it is that CR7 has before it the opportunity to become the top scorer in the history of the national teams in this meeting.
With his two goals in a draw against France in the final match of Group F (2-2), he reached five in this appointment and 109 of the Iranian Ali Daei, who finally came to the table of world gunners.
That same day he unseated Miroslav Klose as the top scorer in World Cups and Euro Cups (19). In his debut, he left French Michel Platini behind as Pichichi of the Euros (11). A single goal against Belgium, which has the Real Madrid player Thibaut Courtois as insurance under the sticks, would allow him to rise to the top of the Olympus of national team scorers and continue to create history.
The former Madrid player continues to be the primary reference for a Portugal that wants to reissue the path that led him to conquer the last edition of the continental tournament. In 2016, she advanced third to the playoffs, eventually lifting the trophy against hosts France with a goal from Éder.
However, in an unprecedented duel in significant tournaments against the Belgians, he will have to correct his weakness if he wants to have options to continue forward. In the Group of Death, he only kept his goal unbeaten on Hungary (0-3) but then suffered the wrath of Germany (2-4) and drew in an exciting clash against France (2-2).
BELGIUM: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; T. Hazard, Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel; Carrasco, Eden Hazard and Lukaku.
PORTUGAL: Rui Patricio; Semedo, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Guerreiro; Danilo, Moutinho; Renato, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva; and Cristiano Ronaldo.
REFEREE : Felix Brych (ALE).
STADIUM : La Cartuja de Sevilla.