Our match prediction:
After dropping two points in their opener against Iceland, Portugal will be looking to return to winning ways when they square off against Austria in their second group game at the 2016 European Championship finals. A Selecao had 25 goal attempts against Iceland, but they failed to turn their dominance into more goals. Cristiano Ronaldo will have to be at his sharpest against Austria if he is to help Portugal pick up all three points from Saturday’s football match and we predict that Fernando Santos’ troops will at least find the net at Parc des Princes. Following a 2-0 loss to Hungary in the opening match of their Euro 2016 campaign Austria face a must-win situation against Portugal and there is every chance we will see goals galore in the “City of Lights”. In their last meeting on the international stage (1995) the two teams played out a 1-1 draw at Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
Highligted Player (Jose Fonte):
Born in Penafiel in 1983, Jose Miguel de Rocha Fonte spent his early career in the lower divisions of the Portugal’s league system, and while he did join giants Benfica in 2006, he never made a single league appearance for the Eagles. The loan spell with Crystal Palace proved crucial for the towering defender as he later secured a permanent move to Selhurst Park, performing well in three Championship campaigns. Fonte then surprised everyone when he joined League One side Southampton, but that would prove to be the best decision he has ever made, as he helped the Saints return to the Premier League before establishing himself as one of the leading central defenders in the elite division. Rated for his aerial ability, but also quite capable on the ground, Jose Fonte even caught the eye of England’s top clubs, although a big club move never materialised for him. The late bloomer eventually played himself into the first team plans of Portugal coach Fernando Santos, making his Selecao debut at the age of 30.
Highlighted Team (Austria):
Austria is one of Europe’s oldest national football teams and they enjoyed plenty of success during the 1930’s, earning the nickname Wunderteam in the process. Das Team achieved a fourth-place finish at the second World Cup in 1934, before finishing in third place at the 1954 finals. However, Austria have since participated at another five World Cup finals, never getting past the first knockout stage. Das Team were even more disappointing in the European Championship qualifying campaigns, failing to qualify for 12 straight tournaments before appearing at the 2008 finals as co-hosts. However, Austria made it to the Euro 2016 in style, winning nine of ten qualifiers to suggest the team may be on the path to return to old glory days. Former Bayern Munich midfielder Andreas Herzog is the team’s most capped footballer with 103 appearances, whereas Toni Polster is the most prolific striker with 44 goals in 95 outings. Matthias Sinderlar, Ernst Ocwirk, Herbert Prohaska and Hans Krankl are some of the most notable players to have represented Austria over the years.