Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Semifinals - Day 2

France vs. Portugal
3pm ET - ESPN

First the good news for Portugal, Constinha and Deco are back from bans. However, with all good comes bad. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo are doubtful for the match due to injury. That said, I would be surprised if one of them sat out and shocked if both did.

Ronaldo has not had the cup he wanted to have, but even in his current hurting shape, he is a player who can pull defensives towards him, thus opening up spots for others. If both him and Figo are out, Portugal's midfield will find it hard to win balls.

For France, they will probably go with the same starting lineup as they did against Brazil and Spain. I could talk about other players, but really the heart of France is Zinedine Zidane. If he continues his run of form, France will meet Italy on Sunday. He will probably be marked by Constinha, which will prove a challenge, but the Zidane of the last two games is far better then Constinha.

One final note, the ref for this match is Uruguayan Jorge Larrionda. US fans will remember this name as he was the man that called (or miscalled) the amazingly disgusting match against Italy. He was also the ref that was suspended for six months right before the 2002 World Cup for alleged accusations of corruption between members of rival Uruguayan soccer officials unions. Just the type of ref Sepp wanta called a semifinal match.

Prediction: France 1-0 Portugal (and Eddie Pope will get a red card)


Anonymous Patrick said...

and Eddie Pope will get a red card
Zing! Hahaha!

3:40 PM  

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