Belgium take on Portugal in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 – all you need to know.
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Belgium play Portugal in a UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 tie in Seville on Sunday 27 June at 21:00 CET.Belgium vs Portugal: live build-up
What's the story?
This is arguably the tie of the round as the formidable Red Devils take on the European champions. Belgium's firepower was there for all to see in the 3-0 win over Russia and as they came from behind to beat Denmark 2-1, while they were persistent then clinical in concluding Group B with maximum points by seeing off Finland 2-0.
Portugal's journey to the last 16 was a much bumpier ride. They showed similar patience in their 3-0 win against Hungary but were surprisingly porous when beaten 4-2 by Germany. They occupied all four positions in Group F at various stages of their final group game against France with the 2-2 draw, courtesy of two goals on a landmark night for current tournament top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, enough to seal third place.
Where to watch the game on TV
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, T. Hazard; De Bruyne, Lukaku, E. Hazard
Out: Castagne (face), Chadli (illness)
Misses next match if booked: T. Hazard
Portugal: Rui Patrício; Dalot, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; João Moutinho, João Palhinha, Renato Sanches; Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Diogo Jota
Misses next match if booked: Rúben Dias
Alyssa Saliou, Belgium reporter: Although the players insist they had no preferred opponent, you can feel the tension rising among the Belgium fans. The team have not beaten Portugal since 1989, but they have proved themselves capable against big opponents in the past, eliminating Brazil 2-1 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup for example.
The return to full fitness of Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne should further boost their belief. The most important thing against Portugal will be to play compactly and to deny space to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, though they should not focus solely on the tournament's top scorer given the Seleção's extremely talented squad.
Carlos Machado, Portugal reporter: Belgium are a team that have played together for a long time, with systems similar to Germany's – 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 – so in theory life will be harder for the holders, who struggled a lot in that game against Die Mannschaft in Munich.
Fernando Santos learned from that 4-2 defeat, however, and his side were more intense in midfield when faced with N'Golo Kanté, Paul Pogba and company in midweek. It will be, like against France, a more balanced and thoughtful Portugal who will try to compete with one of the best teams at this championship. What a game it promises to be in Seville!
View from the camps
Roberto Martínez, Belgium coach: "We are motivated and focused. This is what we do it for. I feel a lot of excitement and energy in the group. Portugal are a team that adapts quickly to circumstances. Whether it is an open or closed match depends on what happens. Will there be an early goal?"
Toby Alderweireld, Belgium defender: "What's the best way to stop Ronaldo? As a team. That has always been our strength. I know the media focus on Cristiano but they have so much quality. We should not underestimate Bernardo Silva – he's an incredible player – and Diogo Jota. They have a lot of guys who can score a goal out of nowhere. We certainly do not underestimate them."
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach: "Belgium score goals and rarely struggle. There have some players who are more influential, but Belgium will not man-mark and nor will we. These sides are a similar class. It's a final; it's for winning, not for playing. We know we will have good opponents. I believe, hope and am convinced that we will be better."
João Moutinho, Portugal midfielder: "Belgium are very compact; they showed that in the group stage, but we will try to impose our game and our strengths on them, and take advantage of any lapses. [Kevin] De Bruyne is not the only danger man, but if he has space he is even more dangerous. But if all of them get space, they will play calmly and that will make our job difficult."
Form guide (most recent first)
Portugal: DLWWDWDownload the EURO app