Spain are bracing themselves for an extremely tough test at Euro 2012, with Portugal next on the agenda in tomorrow night’s semi-final at the Donbass Arena.
La Roja have cruised to the last four of the competition after winning Group C and then beating France in Saturday night’s quarter-final, with a brace from Xabi Alonso proving the difference against Laurent Blanc’s defensive-minded outfit. The Real Madrid star has already put his match-winning double behind him though, and is instead focusing on the challenges posed by Paolo Bento’s outfit in the last four.
"I think that maybe from the emotional point of view they are arriving in a peak after going through to the semi-final,” said the former Liverpool midfielder. “We know them pretty well. They know us pretty well so it's not going to be any big surprises but it is going to be an intense game for sure."
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas was also shifting his focus from the win against France to the clash ahead, and is well aware of the threat players like Raul Meireles and Cristiano Ronaldo can cause his side. Manager Vicente del Bosque has used the ex-Arsenal man in a ‘false nine’ on three occasions in Poland and Ukraine so far this summer, and Fabregas will hope he gets the nod to start again ahead of Fernando Torres on Wednesday.
"Portugal players are good enough to keep the ball. Moutinho and (Raul) Meireles hold the ball very well and their wingers, Nani and Ronaldo, are very quick and strong,” he told the press “They can do a lot of damage. But we are confident about our defence. If we play well together we will be able to attack and defend well."