Can the Dragon keep roaring
Wales v Portugal preview

Can the Dragon keep roaring

05/07/2016

Can Wales continue their stunning run at Euro 2016? Will Portugal finally produce the display their superstars are capable of? Plus kick-off times, match facts, latest odds, team news and quotes ahead of Wednesday'a barnstorming match.

Wales manager Chris Coleman feels his players thrive as underdogs and they head to Lyon on the back of a superb 3-1 quarter-final victory over Belgium, the highest-ranked team in the tournament.

Belgium, ranked second in the world, wilted under the expectation of taking their place in the last four, and Coleman is clearly hoping history repeats itself on Wednesday night.

The team they face, however, have yet to cut loose in the way that Wales did against the Belgians: Portugal have yet to win a match in 90 minutes at the tournament, but have nonetheless fought their way into the semi-finals as self-confessed ugly ducklings.

A gritty battle awaits.

THE THREE KEY ISSUES THAT WILL DECIDE THE MATCH

Who will win the battle of the Real Madrid team-mates?

Gareth Bale has outshone Cristiano Ronaldo at the tournament until now, but Ronaldo is an immense presence and a deadly finisher who will certainly bounce back to his best at some point. The question is whether he will do so on Wednesday.

How will Wales cope without Aaron Ramsey?

Hal Robson-Kanu's Cruyff turn before the second Wales goal against Belgium was world class - yet the touch and pass from Ramsey that preceded it was arguably even better. Ramsey has been arguably Wales's best player throughout the tournament, and his loss could be huge.

Will Portugal step up at last? Or have they already overachieved?

It's not often a team gets to a tournament semi-final without having won a match in 90 minutes, but Portugal have done so - with only a late extra-time winner against Croatia breaking a series of stalemates. The prevailing wisdom is that they have more to offer; but if that's true, they've been keeping their talent well-hidden so far.

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