Tom Kundert’s Belgium v Portugal preview: Portugal will fear no one in the knockouts
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Portugal throughout Euro 2020
Portugal will approach the match in good heart after going toe-to-toe against world champions France. The one advantage of having to negotiate a savagely tough group phase is that the team will fear nobody in the knockouts.
That said, three physically exerting matches could take its toll, especially given that Belgium will have had two extra days of rest.
As such, although coach Fernando Santos has an array of supremely gifted players to choose from, it could well be two more rough-and-ready footballers who hold to key to progression to the quarter-finals. Renato Sanches and second-half substitute Joao Palhinha were both exceptional against France, and their dynamism will be vital to try and wrest control of midfield.
Whereas Portugal’s more technically proficient players – Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva – have failed to fire at Euro 2020, Belgium’s star men Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku are all in fine nick and failure to keep them in check could prove fatal.
With so much talent on view we could be in for a memorable night in Seville. Portugal to edge a five-goal thriller.