Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group F: Portugal

On to the final group now - Group F. Top seed in the group - Portugal:

Nickname: " A Seleccao" ("The Selection")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 8th

Coach: Fernando Santos

Match Schedule: 

June 14 - Portugal v. Iceland (St. Etienne, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 18 - Portugal v. Austria (Paris, 3pm ESPN)
June 22 - Portugal v. Hungary (Lyon, 12pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Portugal had their usual rocky path to France 2016, starting with a 0-1 home loss to Albania and then shedding their former manager Paolo Bento only days later. New boss Fernando Santos safely shepherded his squad through to eventual qualification top of Group I. Expectations in Portugal are rather low, given the profusion of aging players such as Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Quaresmo and Nani who are all past their sell by date. Fortunately, they've landed in the softest group in the tournament - getting out of Group F should be fairly easy.

Key Player: Cristiano Ronaldo, of course. Long considered one of the world's best, he has yet to prove himself on the biggest stages. If Skippy can put this group of average plodder on his shoulders and carry them to a title, then he joins the pantheon.

Youngster to Watch: 23 year-old Braga midfielder Rafa Silva has a similar body type and playing style to that of his namesake David Silva.

Who Will Get the Goals: With 56 goals under his belt, Ronaldo is Portugal's all-time top scorer. To say that Portugal are overly reliant on him is the understatement of the tournament.

Who Will Get the Cards: Fenerbahce hatchet man Bruno Alves recently got himself sent off during a friendly at Wembley for a kung fu kick worthy of Eric Cantona - he's more than a good bet.

Prediction: Top of Group F only brings on Italy prematurely in the Round of 16. Knocked out in a penalty shoot-out after a grim 0-0 draw.

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