Can Ronaldo's magic help Portugal beat Denmark?

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Ronaldo under pressure in must-win game
Lviv, Jun 13: Portugal find themselves in a do-or-die situation against the so-called underdogs Denmark in their 'Group of Death' clash at the Arena Lviv in Lviv.

The Danes claimed one of the biggest upset in European Championships after managing to beat the World Cup runners-up 1-0 in their Group B opener courtesy Michael Krohn-Dehli's goal.

Portugal, however, do not have any positives coming into this game as the Danes beat the vulnerable Iberians and also claimed the top spot in the qualifying group.

Although the Germans kept Cristiano Ronaldo at bay, the Real Madrid star failed to shine in their defeat against the former European Champions. Manchester United winger Nani came to life in the second half, flying down the right flank, but the Germans were smart enough to halt his run.

Ronaldo, who scored over 100 goals for his club in just three seasons, has failed to bring his incredible form into the international fold while Portugal are yet to win a match in 2012. May be the pressure of carrying his side towards glory has taken a heavy beating on his not-so successful international career.

Unlike the 'Mannschaft', Denamrk are not known for keeping possession and accurate passing but they can surely cause headaches to the Portugese back-line with their swift counter attacking skills. While the Portugese on the other hand will have to take their game to the next level.

With Ronaldo, Nani and Raul Mereiles playing in attacking positions, the Iberians have to re-think their strategy in the middle and supply more towards either flanks. Ronaldo was a mere spectator during their first match defeat while Nani sprung into action quite late.

Portugal were choked by the Germans in midfield which led to lack of quality deliveries but the Danes will be happy to hold back and counter attack with their tall lone striker Niklas Bendtner, who has scored four times in five games against Portugal.

The Iberians forward Silvestre Varela, who replaced Mereiles against Germany, created as well as put away one or two decent chances while the full-back Fabio Coentrao's ability ro run down the middle and the left channel may cause danish defence to open up.

Striker Helder Postiga is likely to be dropped after the short impressive performance by young forward Nelson Oliveira or coach Paulo Bento could opt for a more reliable forward in Besiktas' Hugo Almeida.

Michael Silberbauer is likely to start ahead of Simon Poulsen to counter the dangerous runs of Ronaldo. Silberbauer has been effective in Denmark's last four meetings against the Portugese star.


Denmark: Andersen-Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Silberbauer-Zimling, Kvist-Rommedahl, Eriksen, Krohn-Dehli-Bendtner.

Portugal: Rui Patricio-Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao-Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho-Nani, Hugo Almeida, Ronaldo.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 14:07 [IST]
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