Euro 2012: Spain v Portugal preview
Portugal are depending on another impressive performance from their talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo to get past Spain and reach the final

Defending champions Spain meet Portugal in the Euro 2012 semi final on Wednesday as the Iberians battle each other for a place in the decider at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.


This generation of Spanish players are looking to add another title to their trophy cabinet after emerging as winners in Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010, while their neighbours Portugal are depending on yet another impressive performance from their talismanic captain Cristiano Ronaldo to take them past the tournament favourites.

Both teams entered the last four on the back of three consecutive wins. Spain beat the Republic of Ireland 4-0 and Croatia 1-0 in the group stages and also produced an impressive quarter final display against France to win 2-0. Meanwhile, Portugal beat Denmark 3-2 and Holland 2-1 to progress from the Group of Death and overcame Czech Republic 1-0 to advance to the semis.

Tactics and team news:

Spain: Vicente del Bosque is likely to stick with the same formation and players he has deployed in the tournament so far, with the only doubt being the centre-forward. Spain started midfielder Cesc Fabregas as a False 9 in two matches but chose striker Fernando Torres in their other two games. Both players have scored two goals each, but the Chelsea hitman could get the nod against Portugal, since he offers an aerial threat and a direct approach.

Portugal: Paulo Bento has put out the same 4-3-3 formation and starting line-up at the tournament so far but will be forced into a change after centre-forward Helder Postiga suffered an injury in the semi final and was ruled out for the tournament. Hugo Almeida or the 20-year-old Nelson Oliveira will come in for the Real Zaragoza striker. The rest of the squad will remain the same as Ronaldo, Pepe and Fabio Coentrao prepare to face their Real Madrid teammates and El Clasico rivals from Barcelona in this tie.


  • Spain have only won two of their last 12 games against Portugal.
  • Ronaldo is now third on the list of all-time top scorers at the Euros, with six goals and is only behind Michel Platini (9) and Alan Shearer (7).
  • The Spaniards have the best defensive record at the tournament so far, letting in just one goal in four games and not conceding for the last 300 minutes.
  • The Portuguese have struck the woodwork six times in this campaign - a record - and four of those came from Ronaldo.
  • The last time the two sides met was in a friendly in November 2010, where Portugal won 4-0.

Possible starting line-up:

Spain (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Alonso; Silva, Xavi, Iniesta; Torres

Portual (4-3-3): Rui Patricio; Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao; Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles; Nani, Almeida, Ronaldo

Where to Watch Live:

You can follow the game live from 7:45 pm BST on BBC One and BBC One HD, as well as BBC Radio 5 live and the official UEFA Web site.