Portugal can edge out Chile
Portugal can edge out Chile

Portugal and Chile meet in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup on Wednesday in a clash that could produce fireworks.

The Selecao topped a competitive looking Group A which also included, Mexico, hosts Russia and New Zealand and have again shown themselves to be more than the sum of their parts.

La Roja came second behind Germany in Group B and will be desperate to improve following Sunday’s tame 1-1 draw with Australia.

After winning Euro 2016 in France, the Portuguese have continued to be steady but unspectacular and Fernando Santos’ defensive tactics seem to be bringing the best out of his players, while also allowing talisman and captain Cristiano Ronaldo to flourish.

Left-back Raphael Guerreiro is again set to miss out as he waits for a definite diagnosis on his ankle injury but they appear to have a clean bill of health elsewhere.

Santos’ side are n/a to win in Kazan, in what will be their first appearance at the city’s new arena.

As already mentioned, Chile were second in Group B and are yet to hit their stride in Russia.

Sunday’s lacklustre performance against the Australians whiffed of complacency and boss Juan Antonio Pizzi is sure to have made his players aware of his disappointment.

La Roja are n/a to win on Wednesday and have experience of playing in Kazan, having drawn 1-1 against Germany during the group stages.

The versatile Gary Medel is a doubt for the match, although Claudio Bravo is expected to continue in goal, having returned for the game against the Socceroos.

These sides have not met since a friendly in 2011 which finished 1-1 and another draw is priced at n/a.

Goals have been at a premium for the South Americans during the tournament, managing just four in the group stages.

The same cannot be said for the Portuguese though, with them netting seven in their three matches, four of which came in their closing pool encounter against New Zealand.

Ronaldo has netted twice during the tournament, and his duel with Chile forward Alexis Sanchez could be one to look out for.

In fact both will fancy themselves against solid but unspectacular sets of defenders so goals may well be on the agenda.

Organisation could be the key though and Portugal’s attritional approach should mean they have enough to make it through to Sunday’s final.

Both are likely to score though and over 2.5 goals is n/a but the European Champions look a step above and a home win with a 1 goal handicap n/a might be the answer.

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