Today at Euro 2012: Portugal v Spain

 

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque does not think Portugal will tinker with their winning formula and spring any tactical surprises in tonight's semi-final.

"They're going to keep the 4-3-3 that they have used so far. It is true that the other teams that we have faced have made reinforcements to their defence, but I don't expect that Portugal will change anything," Del Bosque said.

Portugal defender Joao Pereira said: "We have to be ourselves and not change the way we play just because we're going to face the reigning champions."

Their coach, Paulo Bento, is without striker Helder Postiga due to a hamstring injury. Hugo Almeida is expected to start in his place. Spain have no injury worries and are likely to be unchanged.

Player to watch (other than Ronaldo): Fabio Coentrao, Portugal

Jose Mourinho paid €30m bringing Fabio Coentrao to Real Madrid this time last year, such was the reputation the left-back had built up while at Benfica. Although the defender was caught smoking on a birthday night out in March and dropped by his manager, Mourinho regularly champions his cause.

The signing raised eyebrows at the time – the 24-year-old would have to compete with Marcelo for a starting berth – but after performing admirably in a utility role at the Bernabeu, Coentrao cemented his place as an integral member of the La Liga-winning squad. Despite impressing, his defending has been the subject of some heavy questioning in Madrid. Mourinho defended him to the press after the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.

For club and country, Coentrao loves to bomb forward, creating a useful option for the countering Ronaldo, and is likely to divert the attention of Spain's Alvaro Arbeloa. The full-back is afforded the luxury to join in because defensively he allows the sitting midfielder Miguel Veloso to cover a roaming opposition winger – in this case David Silva.

How boldly Coentrao sticks to his guns against Spain this evening will be key as to how effective Portugal can be in an attacking sense.

Second fine for Croatia over racism while pitch invader costs Portugal

Uefa has fined the Croatian and Portuguese football federations for the improper conduct of their supporters during Euro 2012 matches.

The Croatian football federation, which last week was fined €80,000 (£64,000) after Croatia fans were found guilty of racially abusing the Italy striker Mario Balotelli, was yesterday handed a further €30,000 (£24,000) punishment for incidents during the Group C match with Spain, including the display of racist banners.

The Portuguese federation, meanwhile, was fined €7,000 (£5,600) for an attempted pitch invasion by a supporter in last Thursday's quarter-final victory over the Czech Republic.

Suggested Topics
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas