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Portugal v Wales: Three things that usually happen

Portugal almost always fall short
Portugal's sole semi-final success in six prior attempts came on the one occasion that they were able to lean on home support at Euro 2004, which was maximised to the tune of a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands. Whenever they have been abroad though, the route to the final has been expertly blocked.
On three of the five instances that they were denied, France assumed responsibility - at Euro 1984, Euro 2000 and World Cup 2006. England eliminated them at World Cup 1966 and Spain oversaw their downfall at Euro 2012. Four of their five conquerors went on to lift the trophy so, if you trust history to repeat itself, you have to be seduced by the 9.40 available on this being Wales' summer.

One other thing to be aware of is that in three of their most recent four semi-finals which ended badly, it took more than 90 minutes to confirm their exit, with extra-time goals sending them home twice and a shootout seeing them off on the other.

They specialise in penalty-flavoured demises
English observers are probably under the impression that Portugal are absolute masters from 12 yards after falling victim to their superior composure at both Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006.
However, their three semi-final failures this century were caused by spot-kick-related mishaps, with the range of ways they have been found to flop in this fashion admirable in its innovation. Four years ago, they lost an actual shootout to Spain. In 2006, a 33rd-minute Zinedine Zidane penalty cost them, while they were broken by the same player in the same manner in 2000, only that time as an extra-time golden goal.

In one of their other three final-four showdowns, the penalty pendulum swung their way as Eusebio netted a consolation against England at World Cup 1966, so four of their six semis have involved drama from the spot.

Goals don't flow too freely
Under 2.5 goals might seem quite stingily priced at 1.58 given that all four quarter-finals produced at least two goals and two blitzed clear of the barrier, including the one involving Wales. Yet a look back at Portugal's past semi-final disappointments flags it up as a wise wager.

The last four concluded with two goals or fewer scored in 90 minutes, while the latest two were even less eventful, with the World Cup 2006 semi against France delivering one goal and the Euro 2012 counterpart against Spain not serving up any in two hours. Four of Fernando Santos' team's five games at Euro 2016 have gone under 2.5 goals, with two in four shirking 1.5 as well.



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