On Saturday 18th June, Group F will play their second round of games in Euro 2016 – with Portugal playing Austria.
The game will kick-off at 8pm at the Parc de Princes Stadium in Paris, home of French giants Paris Saint-Germain, a stadium that has already hosted Turkey vs Croatia and Romania vs Switzerland in this tournament.
Austria go into the game against Portugal on the back of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Hungary, thanks to goals from Ádám Szalai and Zoltán Stieber in the second-half of last Tuesday’s game. Prior to the tournament, the Austrians were in mixed form, with two warm-up friendlies arranged. In May, they played Malta at their Worthersee Stadion which the home side won 2-1. After that, Austria welcomed The Netherlands to the Ernst Happel Stadion in the city of Vienna. Goals from Vincent Janssen and Georginio Wijnaldum meant the Dutch won the game. So that means in their last three games, ‘Das Team’ lost two and won one.
Meanwhile, Portugal also start the game after a rather disappointing result in their opener of this tournament against the smallest nation at Euro 2016, which ended 1-1 on Tuesday, with a near-post goal from Nani and a stunning volley scored by Iceland’s Bjarnason.
Portugal and Austria have not played against each other for over 20 years, with the last meeting being in October 1995 in a Euro ’96 qualifier – which of course was hosted in England. The game was played in Vienna in front of 44,000 supporters. Current FC Köln manager Peter Stöger scored the first goal of the game for Austria in the 21st minute. Paulinho Santos, who made 30 caps for Portugal, scored the equaliser shortly just four minutes after the interval and the game ended one apiece between the two countries.
Portugal winger Ricardo Quaresma came on as a substitute for the last 15 minutes in the game against Iceland and is likely to push for a place in the starting XI. Manager Fernando Santos’ side will be boosted as midfielder Danilo took part in their Thursday training session after picking up a back-injury against Iceland.
For Austria, they don’t have any new injury concerns but will be without Basel defender Aleksandar Dragović, who was sent-off against Hungary earlier in the week after two bookable offences.
Portugal: Rui Patrício, Gueirrero, Carvalho, Pepe, Vieirinha; André Gomes, Danilo, João Moutinho, Quaresma, Nani, Ronaldo
Austria: Almer, Klein, Prödl, Hinteregger, Fuchs, Alaba, Baumgartlinger, Harnik, Sabitzer, Arnautović, Janko
Portugal have the expectation of going through to the knockout stages, especially since they were pre-tournament favourites to win the group. With the draw against Iceland, the pressure is on them now and anything less than a victory against Austria will put a massive dent in their attempt for success at the European Championships. Austria also feel the pressure having lost 2-0 to Hungary and are going to need the three points, like Portugal, if they’re to qualify for the knockout stages.
Both nations need the points and with both teams more fired up then ever to get the three points expect a game worth watching and an end-to-end affair. I can’t pick a winner between the two teams so I’ll be going for a 1-1 draw.
- Portugal go into the game being unbeaten in four meetings with Austria, one win and three draws. Whilst Austria’s last win against the Portuguese was in 1979, a 2-1 victory in a Euro ’80 qualifier in Lisbon.
- Austria have only conceded one goal in each of their last five matches against Portugal.
- The two nations meet in a major tournament for the very first time.
- Cristiano Ronaldo will become Portugal’s most capped player in history if he features in the game against Austria, the Real Madrid player is currently level on 127 caps with Luis Figo.
- Austria have gone 12 games in major tournaments without keeping a clean sheet, the last coming against Algeria in the 1982 World Cup.
Let us know your thoughts and predictions for this game in the comments below! Who is going to be the star man for each country?