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Portugal V Spain

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So, the Iberian encounter in a Ukrainian stadium brings us a repeat of the World Cup 2010 second round fixture. The reigning European and World Champions meet rivals Portugal for a place in the final.

Spain have settled into this competition now. After conceding in the first half of their opener with Italy, they have returned with seven consecutive halves with shut-outs. Stopping Ireland scoring was one thing, but keeping out Croatia and France suggests Spain are back to their tournament style of narrow wins-to-nil. In World Cup 2010 they did this in five of their last six matches, which were all effectively knock-out football.

Portugal failed to score against Germany, but they did create chances. Against the Czech Republic they left it late before Ronaldo hauled his team into this semi-final. With so much less possession - you can't envisage Portugal seeing more than 40% of the ball - Portugal will struggle to move the ball into positions which can hurt Spain. Added to that, Ronaldo is very well known by the Spanish defence who will be prepared for his tricks and flicks.

The chances of Spain progressing are high, and with questions over the Portuguese defence (Denmark scored twice against them), Spain can easily win in 90 minutes. Within that win, a corresponding shut-out must be considered to be a strong likelihood.

Oh, and the result of that 2010 South African fixture? 1-0 to Spain.

Spain to win-to-nil at 2.8

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