Donetsk: Portugal coach Paulo Bento says his team will take the fight to Spain and impose their own way of playing in Wednesday’s Euro semi-finals.
Spain are favoured to reach their third consecutive major tournament final, and few teams have dared to attack the defending champions for fear of being cut to shreds on the break. But Bento is “very confident” that Portugal will be causing Spain trouble.
He said: “We’re not inspired by what the others did against Spain but what we did against other teams. We have our own identity.”
Hugo Almeida will start in attack for Portugal in place of the injured Helder Postiga as coach Bento is forced into his first change of the tournament.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani on the wings and Almeida playing through the middle, Portugal’s approach is unlikely to change from the counter-attacking style they have deployed so far.
“They have an identity based around the ball possession they have,” said Bento. “They always play in last third and are very strong when they lose the ball, that’s why they are a team of great quality, why they are European and world champions.
“We will have a lot of difficulties but the important thing is that we have to be loyal to our identity too,” he said.