Belgium will start as favourites when they face off against Portugal in their Euro 2020 round of 16 tie at the Estadio de la Cartuja in Seville.
It seems almost cruel that one of these two sides will no longer be in the running for the European Championships on Monday morning.
The red-hot Belgians, who breezed past the group stages with three wins from three, face Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portuguese, who scraped into last 16 as one of the best third-placed sides.
Portugal will be boosted by the fact that Ronaldo has bagged five goals to date and will have to take the positives from the 2-2 draw against France. While both goals came from Ronaldo penalties, the fact they were not beaten by a strong French lineup will have them ready to cause Belgium some problems.
The Belgians have Romelu Lukaku in fine form as the Inter Milan forward has netted three times and with Kevin De Bruyne now fully fit, the world’s top ranked side are ready to knock out the defending champions.
Portugal’s defensive issues were laid bare by Germany, who won 4-2 but it will have pleased coach Fernando Santos to see Renato Sanches boss the midfield against France.
With the attacking riches on display – Portugal have Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota to aid Ronaldo upfront – it is unlikely that there will be a repeat of the goalless stalemate that occurred when the teams played each other in 2018.
Belgium will be wary of Portugal’s recent domination of this contest – they have banked three wins and two draws from the last five fixtures. Those five matches averaged more than 2.5 goal a game with 3 of them seeing both teams scoring.
Whether coach Roberto Martinez opts to attack Portugal – something that worked for Germany – or play it safer might mean the difference between going through and potential disaster should his side not offer enough attacking opportunities.
Ronaldo’s ability to score from range and in the air could mean that he pounces on a single chance to win the match. Belgium have been warned not to sit back.
The match kicks off at 9pm.
Suggested bet: First half draw at 2.06