Iberian Clash In Cape Town
Neighbours Spain and Portugal will face each other in the final match of the last-16. The teams are second and third respectively in the FIFA world rankings and both teams have high profile players.
Spain has an injury worry in former midfield Xabi Alonso, who may miss the clash with a sprained ankle. Portugal has Deco returning from a hip injury.
Both teams are well rounded; Portugal beat North Korea 7-0 and held Brazil to a 0-0 draw, proving that they are more than proficient in attack and defence. Spain Have world-class strikers in Torres and Villa, amazing playmakers and passers with Xavi, Iniesta and Alonso and solid defenders with Puyol and Pique.
The Spaniards have arguably the best attacking pair in the world, Torres and Villa. Portugal fields a team that have conceded one goal in the last twelve games. The game is shaping up to be a very interesting contest for the neutral.
Villa’s side go into the tie as favourites, with Party Bets offering odds of 1/1.
The winner of the contest will face either Japan or Paraguay it the quarterfinals.
Aside from their 7-0 destruction of North Korea, Potugal have played out two 0-0 draws which shows they have the ability to sit back and defend if that’s what’s needed.
Brazilian coach Dunga has criticised their negative tactics.
"I'm not happy," Dunga said. "We always play to win. We even tried to attack in the last five minutes. Portugal didn't attack. They just wanted to defend."
Despite this, Portugal Coach Carlos Queiroz has asked his side to attack from the first whistle.
"We want to win this game from the very first minute," he added. "We don't know whether the duration of the game will be 90 minutes, 120 minutes or a penalty shoot-out. When you play a game of this nature, all that counts is that we move forward and score.
"My philosophy is that in a game of this nature, as a coach you have to take some risks. Our passes have to be decisive if we want to defeat Spain. We have to defend well, attack well and a Portuguese team always has to be on the attack.
Party Bets are offering odds of 3/1 for Queiroz’s side to reach the quarterfinals.