Lviv, Jun 9: Cristiano Ronaldo and Co will take on ‘favourites’ Germany in their Group B match at the Arena Lviv in Lviv tonight.
Joachim Lowe will boast a strong German line-up as Phillip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger were declared fit after missing out on a couple of friendly games.
With a 100% record in the qualifying stage, Germany seem unbeatable and are aiming to make a positive impact when faced against ‘underdogs’ Portugal. Germany ended Portugese dream after beating them 3-2 en route to the finals in Euro 2008.
Though the Germans are considered one of the best in the world, their recent form in friendlies have been below standards, losing two in three matches. Their oppoenents, Portugal, are yet to open their account despite playing three friendlies. Two draws against Poland and Macedonia while Turkey beat the Iberians 3-1 at home.
Germany, however, look stronger with possession and attacking abilities, have to stop one man who can change the game around with his pace and skills. Ronaldo, who has been in brilliant form recently with club Real Madrid scoring 62 goals, has the ability to out-pace defenders and cause problems to the opposition back line.
German captain Lahm is likely to start at left-back while his Bayern Munich team-mate Jerome Boeteng will have the task to hault Ronaldo on the opposite flank. But the Germans also have a scoring machine in Mario Gomez.
Lowe’s young German side scored 34 goals in 10 games compared to Portugal’s 21 goals in eight. Portugese also come with a fully fit squad, but, apart from Ronaldo, the presence of Nani, Raul Meireles, Pepe and Moutinho fail to deliver especially against bigger sides like Germany or Spain.
Germany: Neuer-Boateng, Mertesacker, Badstuber, Lahm-Khedira, Schweinsteiger-Muller, Ozil, Podolski-Gomez
Portugal: Rui Patricio-Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao-Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho-Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo