We've made it this far. The semi finals of Euro 2016 are to kick off tonight with Wales in action against Portugal, after nearly a month of football we are nearly reaching the end. I'm going to be taking a look at both teams chances of winning, before the big game tonight.
We all know their story, and what a fantastic one it is too. They're coming in to uncharted territory now having made this Semi Final and will be looking to progress even further against a weakened Portugal side. They go into the game without Aaron Ramsey which could be a huge blow for their chances and I guess tonight we shall see just how vital he is for them. They must rely on Gareth Bale to light up the pitch tonight as they could struggle if he is having an off day. As has been proven however, Wales are far from a 2 man team, they have strength all over the pitch and everyone will be looking to perform to send their country through to the final. They have arguably one of the most passionate sides ever seen by a home nation, and have really set new boundaries for any of the home nations for tournaments to come.
So, How can they win it?
For me Wales must simply keep doing what they have been doing if they are going to win, and that's sticking to the game plan. Coleman has managed his tactics tremendously so far this tournament and his players trust him. So tonight they will be looking to play good football in at their feet when they need it, defending as a defensive and midfield unit, and looking for Bale as an outlet to begin to create chances for a Wales side capable of doing damage.
Surprisingly, not being outright favourites for this game, I feel Portugal have nothing to fear tonight. They have done extremely well to be in the position they are after an unconvincing tournament, but all it could take is one strong performance tonight and they've made it to the final. I think we are all expecting something big off Christiano Ronaldo and for me if he wants to show he is the best, he must perform on the biggest stage. Winning this tournament would mean a lot to him as he is an incredibly passionate player. Portugal do not however just rely on him, they have an incredibly strong midfield and a defence capable of stopping Wales in their tracks, before this tournament began they would be out and out favourites to win this game, but as Wales have shown their strength, and Portugal haven't been playing their best football, things are different.
How can Portugal win?
One important thing which could help Portugal is if they Started Quaresma, he hasn't had the most play time in this tournament but when he has featured he has looked sharp and dangerous, and has come out with real intent to cause problems. I think this is Portugal's chance. I think that tonight they will come out and finally arrive at this tournament with a great footballing display, if not, serious questions have to be asked of their managerial staff. If you can't perform at this level you don't deserve to get to this level, especially for some of the World class players Portugal have.
Overall I do not think this game is out of Wales reach, both teams could win and it should be an exciting fixture. Portugal will be looking to silence critics and a good performance for them is vital, its what everyone wants to see, because to many at the moment it doesn't look like they deserve to be where they are. Good luck to Wales and good luck to Portugal, lets hope for plenty of goals.