Belgium Eyes First Win Against Portugal In 32 Years 

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One of the standout ties in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020 will take place in Seville on Sunday evening, with Belgium, who have a 100% record at this summer’s competition, facing champions Portugal.

Belgium breezed into the knockout round by winning all three of their Group B fixtures to top the section, while Portugal ultimately qualified from Group F in third behind France and Germany.

Belgium might have topped their section with three wins from three matches, but Roberto Martinez’s side face a Portuguese side they have not beaten for over 30 years.

The last time Belgium defeated Portugal was in 1989 during qualifiers for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Playing at home, Belgium triumphed 3-0 in the second-leg of the qualifiers after the first-leg ended 1-1.

Since the victory 32 years ago, Belgium are winless in their last five fixtures against Portugal, losing three and drawing two.

Also Read: Euro 2020: England Ready To Rewrite History -Stones

Both teams last met in a friendly in June 2018 which ended in a goalless draw.

Martinez’s team selection for this match is going to be fascinating, but it is expected to be Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard alongside Lukaku in the final third of the field, leaving Dries Mertens on the bench.

Dedryck Boyata should get the nod over Jason Denayer to start in the back three, while Thorgan Hazard is likely to keep out Yannick Carrasco to feature as the left-sided wing-back for the Red Devils.

Youri Tielemans was an unused substitute against Finland but will be back in the side for this match, with Witsel also potentially featuring in the middle of the park, which would allow De Bruyne to form part of the front three.

As for Portugal, Nelson Semedo had been expected to miss out with the problem that he picked up against France in the latter stages of Wednesday’s contest, but the defender has trained ahead of his match and should get the nod once again, with Diogo Dalot on standby.

Danilo Pereira is also a doubt with the blow to the face that he suffered against the world champions, but the midfielder is being tipped to overcome the issue to feature as part of a midfield three.

As a result, Bruno Fernandes could again be named on the bench, with Santos likely to stick with the 4-3-3 formation that worked well on Wednesday.

William Carvalho and Ruben Neves are options to replace Danilo – who trained on Friday – but a switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation could also be in the mind of the manager, which would allow Fernandes to return to the starting side but potentially make the holders more open against a dangerous Belgium outfit.

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