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EURO 2020: Belgium vs Portugal Round of 16 match preview

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The Euro 2020 Round of 16 continues tonight as the golden generation of Belgium go up against the experienced defending champions of Europe, in what is arguably the biggest clash of the knockout stages. 

The Red Devils won Group B and did so by winning all three of their matches. Portugal, on the other hand, finished third in Group F, labelled the ‘group of death’ with four points. They won, drew, and lost one game each against each of their opponents in the group. 

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By the numbers, Belgium head into the match with more momentum than their opponents considering they won all three of their group games. The fact that Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne have been in red-hot form also adds to their advantage. Defensively, the performance from the team has been quite impressive. They only conceded one goal throughout the group stage to qualify. 

Portugal, on the other hand, have their own set of fearsome attackers, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes all set to start tonight. Portugal’s defensive performance has been lacking in recent games, and all of the backline will be expected to step up their game against Belgium tonight, if they are to qualify for the last-16. 

Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez has maintained that he has no special plan to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo, who is now the joint-highest international goalscorer of all time. And if history is any guide, there is no greater big-match player than CR7. 

As seen in the games before, both teams will be expected to use the formations they have adapted so far in the tournament. Martinez will, in all possibility, use his 3-4-3 lineup while Portugal adapt their usual 4-2-3-1 with no particular changes apart from Renato Sanches potentially making it into the starting 11. 

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Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.

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