Bengaluru, June 30: The Euro 2016 quarter-finals kick-start its campaign today (30th June) as Poland take on Portugal in the first game. Poland defeated Switzerland in the round of 16 via penalty shootout to qualify for the quarter-final.
Portugal humbled tournament dark horses Croatia, thanks to Ricardo Quaresma's late strike in the extra time, to qualify.
Both the teams look good on paper and have had a decent outing in the tournament so far. Portugal though have not won a single game if 90 minutes of football is considered but still managed to move ahead.
All eyes will be on the duel between the two star players Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandoswki. These two must produce stellar performance in order to guide their teams to victory.
Here are the 5 key battles from the Poland vs Portugal clash"
1. Roberto Lewndowski Vs Pepe
Robert Lewandoski is undoubtedly the best player of this Polish side and lot will depend on this Bayern Munich striker. Lewandowski has not been up to mark in this tournament so far but he possesses the ability to impose threat on any defense on any given day. Portugal's main man at the backline, Pepe will have to keep a firm eye on the star forward.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo Vs Michal Pazdan
Cristiano Ronaldo's performance in this Euro has been below par so far which is one of the primary reasons why Portugal has struggled. His Real Madrid form is yet come as Ronaldo managed to score just 2 goals in the tournament so far. The only match he played well was against Hungary where we could some glimses of his exhuberant skills. In the same match he scored a brilliant brace to keep his nation at bay in the tournament. Ronaldo on his day is unstoppable and thus, Poland defender Michal Pazdan must be vigilant enough and mark the superstar properly. Pazdan had an impressive tournament so far and Polish manager Adam Nawalka will hope that Pazdan plays his best game tonight.
3. Nani Vs Kamil Glik
Cristiano Ronaldo's partner up front will be none other Nani. Fernando Santos has been using the combination of Nani, Ronaldo combination upfront as central strikers. Nani has found the back of the net twice in this tournament and he will be key man upfront for the Portuguese. Kamil Glik the 28-year-old Poland central defender must keep a cautious eye on this former Manchester United attacker.
4. Renato Sanchez Vs Grzegorz Krychowiak
This 18-year-old midfielder is certainly one of the best upcoming footballers in the world right now. Just before the Euro, the teenager was signed by German giants Bayern Munich for a enormous €35 million. Manchester United too were in the race ultimately Bayern sealed the deal. Sanches has been in fine touch in this Euro. Renato Sanches will definitely be a force to reckon in first quarter-final game. Grzegorz Krychowiak, Poland's defensive midfielder will have to vigilant in front of the energetic and skillful Portuguese youngster.
5. Arkadiusz Milik Vs Jose Fonte
Robert Lewndowski strike partner Arkadiusz Milik will guarded by Southampton defender Jose Fonte. This another important duel to look into. Milik has been in good form in the tournament and has perfectly complimented Lewandowski up front.