Ronaldo: Portugal vs Austria

ronaldo

Ronaldo : Portugal coach Fernando Santos is likely to rotate his squad, with Renato Sanches, Ricardo Quaresma and Jose Fonte in contention to start.

William Carvalho could replace defensive midfielder Danilo, who is nursing a back problem.

Austria centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic is suspended and could be replaced by Watford’s Sebastian Prodl or Tottenham’s Kevin Wimmer.

Playmaker Zlatko Junuzovic is set to miss out with an ankle problem.

His absence could mean Bayern Munich’s David Alaba operates in an attacking midfield role.

MATCH PREVIEW

Cristianoronaldo would have been hoping to make his mark early at Euro 2016 – and Portugal’s captain did just that following his outspoken reaction tothe 1-1 draw with Iceland. After hastily leaving the pitch, he accused Iceland – population just 332,000 – of negative tactics.

“It was a lucky night for them,” he said. “When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal attempted 26 shots against Iceland, including 10 from Ronaldo. It is a familiar story for the Portuguese, who often struggle to find a cutting edge. All seven of their qualifying wins were by single-goal margins, and they have also lost friendlies to Cape Verde and Bulgaria recently despite peppering the opposition goalkeeper.

Both Portugal and Austria saw long winning runs end in their opener – Portugal had won seven competitive games in a row, while Austria had won nine.

Austria coach Marcel Koller felt his side made a good start against Hungary – but became increasingly nervous as the game progressed. Koller will need to steady the ship at the Parc des Princes but will have to do so without two key figures – centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic and playmaker Zlatko Junuzovic.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Portugal have won only two of 10 previous meetings with Austria (D5, L3).
  • The six competitive encounters have produced two wins for each side plus two draws.
  • This will be the first time they have met at a major tournament.
  • Austria defeated Portugal 9-1 in Vienna in qualifying for the 1954 World Cup.
  • Austria’s last victory against the Portuguese was in 1979, when they beat them 2-1 in a European Championship qualifier in Lisbon. The last meeting, in 1995, ended 1-1.
  • Portugal coach Fernando Santos oversaw two friendly wins against Austria (2-1 in November 2010 and 2-0 in August 2013) during his time in charge of Greece.
  • Austria have conceded exactly once to Portugal in each of their last five matches against them

Portugal

  • The Portuguese have made it through the group stage at all six of their previous European Championship finals appearances.
  • They have not won an opening game at a major tournament since 2008 (D2, L2).
  • They have only claimed one victory in their last five games (D3, L1) at major tournaments.
  • Portugal had 26 shots and 72.2% possession (as measured by Opta) in their opening game against Iceland – the highest figures of any side during the first round of matches.
  • Nani’s goal against Iceland was the 600th scored in European Championship finals history.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo will become Portugal’s most capped player if he features in this match – he’s currently level with Luis Figo (127).

Austria

  • They have never kept a clean sheet at the European Championship finals, conceding at least once in each of their four games.
  • In fact, Austria have gone 13 games without a clean sheet at a major tournament. They last kept one against Algeria at the 1982 World Cup.
  • None of Austria’s last 28 shots at the European Championship finals have found the back of the net.
  • Austria have lost three of their last four matches (including friendlies) – their sole win came against Malta. Ronaldo sOURCE BBC SPORT

Comments

comments