Ronaldo, Portugal ready to eliminate Wales
The Euro 2016 tournament has already seen its share of scintillating upsets. As we move into the semis, is Wales capable of adding to that list?
Chris Coleman’s players can reach their first major tourney final with a victory over Portugal. The match promises to be Wales’ stiffest challenge to date, though, as online sports book Bovada.lv gives Cristiano Ronaldo and company odds of +110 to prevail. Conversely, Wales enters as a +280 underdog. The over/under goal total rests at two.
Beginning at 3 p.m. ET, Ronaldo will try to get the better of Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale. The two are embroiled in a fierce battle for the event’s golden boot, but Bale’s virtuoso performance comes as the greater surprise. Where Ronaldo’s reputation preceded him before the festivities launched, Bale had to scratch and claw to put his nation in a position to earn respect.
That has happened, and then some. Wales stunned second-ranked Belgium in the final eight and also notched triumphs against Northern Ireland, Russia and Slovakia earlier. On the flip side, Portugal still searches for win No. 1 in regulation.
Alas, personnel issues could threaten Wales in several hours. Coleman won’t have key contributors Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey. The Tottenham defender and Arsenal standout were suspended following the Belgium contest, putting even further pressure on Bale.
Wales needs every able-bodied individual just to hang with Portugal, frankly, because championship experience should kick in sooner rather than later. Bank on Ronaldo’s gang to reign supreme at the Stade des Lumieres.
WEDNESDAY EURO 2016 FREE PICK: PORTUGAL +110