Euro 2020 Last 16: Portugal vs Belgium – Key strengths and weaknesses, Line-up comparisons, Key players, Team news and predictions Euro 2020 Last 16: Portugal vs Belgium – Key strengths and weaknesses, Line-up comparisons, Key players, Team news and predictions

Euro 2020 Last 16: Portugal vs Belgium – Key strengths and weaknesses, Line-up comparisons, Key players, Team news and predictions

Portugal vs Belgium match preview:

Euro 2020 Last 16: Portugal vs Belgium – Key strengths and weaknesses, Line-up comparisons, Key players, Team news and predictions
Portugal vs Belgium match preview

Belgium and Portugal are going head to head in the last 16 knockout stage of UEFA Euro 2020.Belgium are coming in the knockout stage on the back of 3 straight wins in group stage by scoring 7 goals and conceding just 1 in their respective matches and finished first in their group.

On the other hand, Portugal had rather mixed tournament so far with one win, one draw and a defeat in their group stage matches. Portugal also scored 7 goals but conceded 6 which includes goals in defeat against Germany. Portugal finished on third place in group F which was also known as group of death.

Key strengths:

First we will look at the key strengths of Belgium

Romelu Lukaku, Goal scoring machine

Romelu Lukaku is a goal scoring machine for Belgium as he scored 3 goals in group stage matches including 2 against Russia and 1 against Finland. Having Lukaku in the attack is a major strength for team Belgium.

Attacking midfield featuring Kevin de Bruyne

Belgium’s goal scoring heavily depends upon their midfielders like Kevin de Bruyne, Tielemans, Eden Hazard and Axel Witsel. All of these players have attacking prowess and stamina to control the midfield both attackingly and defensively. Romelu Lukaku’s goal scoring depends upon the quality assists provided by the likes of de Bruyne.

Lightning fast wing backs

Belgium plays with the line-up of 3-5-2-1. Wing backs play very important role in the midfield as Thomas Meunier and Thorgan hazard has lightning fast speed along with top class crossing which can rattle any defense. They add much more strength in an already attacking midfield.

Now we will look at the key strengths of Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo

I don’t think there is any need to explain why Cristiano Ronaldo is the key strength for team Portugal. Ronaldo is already tournaments top scorer with 5 goals in 3 matches. Ronaldo is a goal scoring machine that score penalties, free kicks, headers like no other. He scored 2 crucial goals against Hungary, 1 against Germany and 2 against France. Having Ronaldo’s name on the team sheet can terrorize any defense in the football world.

Skillful wingers involving Bernardo silva

Another major strength for Portugal is their wingers. Having Ronaldo in the free roam role means Bernardo silva and Jota can find loads of space on the flanks as opposition’s defense try to keep hold of Ronaldo. This provides these wingers opportunity to deliver pin point crosses to Cristiano Ronaldo in the box or to cut back and try to score themselves.

Key weaknesses:

First we will look at the major weaknesses of Belgium

Vulnerable defense

With so much attacking options, Belgium lacks some sort of defensive strength. It’s bit strange what I am saying if you look at the Belgium’s defensive stats in Euro 2020. I am saying this because Belgium had a rather easy group as compared to Portugal. Teams like Russia, Finland and Denmark were no match for No.1 ranked side in the world. The only goal that Belgium conceded was against Denmark.

Belgium were so dominant against these teams that Thibaut Courtois made only 7 saves in 3 matches. Their defense is yet to face an attacking team like Portugal. This defense will be vulnerable in front of attacking trio of Portugal if Belgium’s wing backs failed to track back in time. Although they have an excellent goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois, they need to keep their composure in order to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from scoring. This is the only weakness that team Belgium have

Now we will look at the weaknesses of Portugal

Rattled defense

Portugal have Pepe, Dias and Patricio in the heart of defense. They conceded 6 goals in three matches which includes goals against Germany. Their defense looked rattled against top class teams like Germany and France. Belgium is no different than these two teams as their strength in attack makes red devils a powerful force.

Portugal’s defense needs to step up in this knockout game as Belgium will come out all guns blazing at them right from the start. If they will look clueless again tonight as they were in game against Germany than I don’t think Ronaldo can drag them to the quarters.

Clueless midfield

Portugal’s midfield was heavily dependent on Bruno Fernandes coming in this tournament but he failed miserably. Although their midfield had good games but Bruno was nowhere to be seen in all three games. He was so poor that Renato Sanches started ahead of their crucial game against France. If Portugal want to dominate the likes of Witsel, de Bruyne and Tielemens then Bruno Fernandes need to give a top class performance in the most important game of the tournament.

'Bruno Fernandes is nowhere to be seen for Portugal' 

Portugal’s midfield needs to share attacking burden of Cristiano Ronaldo if they want to progress any further in the tournament.

Date, kick-off time and venue

Belgium vs Portugal is going to start at

8pm BST on Sunday, June 27, 2021 at Seville, Spain

Team news

Kevin De Bruyne is set to start the match after coming on as a substitute in group stage matches. Captain Axel Witsel will also join him in midfield. Thomas Meunier likely to keep his place, while Thorgan Hazard will join him in wing backs position.

As for Portugal, Semedo picked up a knock in last match but he is back fully fit. Renato Sanches best performance against France will help him in retaining his starting spot and Bruno Fernandes is not likely to start yet again.

Predicted lineups

Belgium XI:


Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen

Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, T. Hazard

Mertens, E. Hazard


Portugal XI:

Rui Patrício

Semedo, Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro

Perriera, Sanches, Moutinho

Bernardo, Ronaldo, Jota

Belgium vs Portugal score prediction

This game is going to be a treat to watch for fans as this tie can go either way. As both defenses looks very much vulnerable, we can expect some goals tonight.

Belgium’s golden generation has last chance to win European championship as they need to knockout defending champions featuring super star Cristiano Ronaldo. We predict

Belgium 2-3 Portugal

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