Football scholar and coach Müslüm Gülhan analyzed Portugal vs Spain and Germany vs Italy semi-final matches for NationalTurk readers. Experienced football pundit sees Germany and Spain closer to the finals of Euro 2012.
NationalTurk : Mr. Gülhan, What do you think about Euro 2012 semi-finals featuring Portugal vs Spain and Germany vs Italy ?
Müslüm Gülhan : In Portugal vs Spain match should be analyzed from a psychological perspective rather than technical and tactical angles, especially for the Portugal team. The most important reason is that many of the players in the Portugal team play in the Spanish league. While they all are individually very successful players, they have failed at international and club teams against Spain and Spanish teams. Will Portuguese players be hung-up against Spain, this complexness feeling can affect their performance positively but also negatively.
Portugal vs Spain Euro 2012 Analysis : Portugal plays with Improvisation
Portugal, as I said earlier, is not a team of organized play and systematic, they improvise, but against the Spanish team Portugal have two advantages. Portugal play quick passes and they go straight to attack, not many side passes involved in their game and they have got Cristiano Ronaldo ‘s creativity and power. I find Portugal’s chances to find a goal or even goals very likely given these circumstances. However, the Ronaldo fact for Portugal is as well as an advantage as it is a disadvantage because Portugal players look constantly for Ronaldo when they are close to opponent’s goal thus lose their efficiency in the game. Furthermore Spanish defense and Spain goalkeeper Casillas know Ronaldo very well which can prove to be a major advantage for Spain in this Portugal vs Spain game.
Another disadvantage for Portugal side is the striker position. Neither Helder Postiga nor Hugo Almeida are good enough. Postiga won’t play due to his injury and the lack of Almeida’s scoring and passing abilities, which by the way is the reason why he plays in Turkish league, put Portugal into a disadvantageous position vs Spain.
Spain plays systematic passing almost to a perfection, plenty of players passing the ball and the opponent loses its concentration and lust for the game game, this also helps hindering the attack of the opponent by keeping the possesion which is also a supreme defensive strategy. In David Villa ‘s absence they will start the Spain vs Portugal game with a balanced midfield containing 6 players. They suffer a shortage of goal chances as Midfielders such as Fabregas, Silva and Iniesta appear to be the their major goal scoring midfield players but in truth these players are better in assisting their teammates than scoring goals.
Spain vs Portugal Euro 2012 Analysis : Llorente would be better selection at ST for Spain
This 6 – player midfield is the main reason why Spain games in this Euro 2012 tournament are boring and with not many goal chances. I think Spain will start with Torres upfront but my choice would be Llorente instead of Torres as Llorente had a better season and is in better physical condition than Torres currently is. I think Spain would have more goal chances with him in the Spanish starting XI.
I expect to see a great and entertaining game, Spain are big favorites but Portugal’s daily impromptu improvisional approach and their explosiveness makes this Portugal vs Spain Euro 2012 Semi Final match quite unpredictable.
Müslüm Gülhan will be here tomorrow with the preview and analysis of Germany vs Italy game.