Football News

Portugal Route To The Final: Potential Opponents for A Seleção das Quinas at Euro 2024

By James Amey

Published: 15:36, 10 May 2024

As Euro 2024 approaches we take a look at who A Seleção das Quinas might face on their route to the European Championships final.

Portugal Route To The Euro 2024 Final: Potential Path

The 2016 champions go into the tournament as the fifth favourites to bring home the trophy this summer. Roberto Martinez’s side qualified from Group J to reach Euro 2024, winning all 10 0f their matches in their qualification campaign. They’ve been drawn into Group F at the finals, a group that shouldn’t cause them too many problems. Turkey, Czech Republic and Georgia complete their group, but who else could them take on during the knockout rounds?

European Championship Qualification – Group F
Position Team Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA Points
1 Portugal 10 10 0 0 36 2 30
2 Slovakia 10 717 1 2 17 8 22
3 Luxembourg 10 5 2 3 13 19 17
4 Iceland 10 3 1 6 17 16 10
5 Bosnia & Herzergovina 10 3 0 7 9 20 9
6 Liechtenstein 10 00 10 1 280

Portugal’s potential route to Euro 2024 final

Portugal’s Group F fixtures

vs Czech Republic (18 June 2024, 8pm BST) – Portugal’s opening game of Euro 2024 sees them travel to Leipzig and the Red Bull Arena. They’ll be hoping to win their opening game of the tournament in back-to-back European Championships for the very first time after their 3-0 victory over Hungary at Euro 2020, but it will be a tough test against Czech Republic. Czechia, ranked 36 in the world and finished as runners up in Group E, but finished level on points with group winners Albania.

vs Turkey (22 June 2024, 5pm BST) – Turkey topped a tough qualifying group that consisted of Croatia and Wales, losing just one of their eight games, but when it comes to the finals they have typically struggled. They finished bottom of their group at Euro 2020, losing all three games and scoring just once, so Portugal will be hoping that they face that Turkey side instead of the one that impressed so much during qualifying.

vs Georgia (26 June 2024, 8pm BST) – Georgia aren’t expected to pull up any trees and this should be a guaranteed three points for Portugal in their quest to finish top of the group. They finished fourth in qualifying, winning just two of their eight matches but made it to the finals having advanced to the play-offs thanks to the Nations League.

If Portugal finish top of group F

If Portugal win Group F, as the odds suggest, they will face the best third placed finisher from Group A, B or C in the round of 16. Based on betting odds, this will most likely be Hungary, Croatia or Serbia.

If Roberto Martinez’s men progress to the quarter-finals, they’ll likely come up against the Netherlands, before facing either Spain or Germany in the semi’s. If they manage to go all the way, we could see a repeat of the Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France.

If Portugal finish runner-ups in group F

A second placed finish, would see their route to the final change significantly. They would take on the winner of Group D and World Cup runners-up France.

The route to the final doesn’t get any easier after that, with the winner of Group E or the third placed team in Group A/B/C/D . Group B should be won by Beligum whilst the third placed team is likely to be one of Hungary, Croatia, Serbia or Austria.

Their semi-final opponents would then be most likely Spain or Italy, depending on who finishes up as runner-up in the group, before facing hosts Germany in the final.

If Portugal finish third in Group F

A terrible group stage could see Portugal still manage to qualify as one of the best placed third placed teams. It’s also where things get a little messy.

There are two potential routes if Portugal qualify for the Round of 16 as a third place team. They’ll either face the winner of Group B (Spain are the favourites) or the Winner of Group C (England are the favourites).

At that point things separate either further for the quarter final stage. If Portugal overcome England they’ll replace the Runner up of Group D (Netherlands) or Group E (Ukraine) whilst if they beat Belgium they’ll face the Winner of Group D (France) or the Runner Up of Group F (Most likely Turkey).

There are multiple options in the semi-final if Portugal reach that point. The route that saw them overcome England in the Round of 16 would pair them up against the Winner of Group A (Proably Germany), the Winner of Group B (Spain or Italy), the Runner Up of Group C (Denmark or Serbia) or the Third Placed team in Group A, D, E or F. Switzerland, Austria, Romania or Czech Republic are the most likely outcomes from that scenario.

Portugal’s Reasons for Optimism

Portugal have plenty going for them despite their poor showing at Euro 2020. They finished qualifying with a 100% record and just one goal conceded as they cruised to a place in Germany. They will be looking to recreate their famous triumph in 2016 when they lifted the trophy for the first time.

Robert Martinez seems to have gelled them together well and with 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo still going strong and looking to set even more records during the tournament. They have a host of experienced players to call on, including the enternal Pepe at CB, mixed well with some up and coming talents, including Benfica’s Joao Neves.

Portugal’s Potential Roadblocks

Despite their perfect qualifying record, Portugal still may have some concerns going into the tournament.

Euro 2020 was a disaster for them after trying to defend their title. They made it to the knockout stages by the skin of their teeth after finishing as one of the best third placed sides after a tough group consisting of themselves, France, Germany and Hungary. However, the last 16 was as far as they got as they crashed out to Belgium.

This will be the back of their mind, especially if they don’t top their group. France most likely waiting for them if they finish as runners-up and they don’t want that.

Roberto Martinez Tactical Insights

As per our Guide to the Portgual squad, after starting with a 3-4-3, Roberto Martinez has moved to a back four for Portugal and it seems like that’s his plan going forward. The main question, then, is whether he goes with a front two or just a sole striker. He’s played with a two three times, but the rest of the time Martinez has used one striker, even when going with a back three.

That comes as part of a three-man attack with Ronaldo through the middle, flanked by Rafael Leao and Bernardo Silva. So you’d expect that to continue onto the Euros this summer, though Goncalo Ramos and Joao Felix provide other options through the middle.

The midfield three more or less picks itself too. Joao Palhinha will start at the base of the midfield, with Bruno Fernandes on one side. Otavio has sometimes been used as the third midfielder, but Vitinha may just get the nod. This gives Portugal the option to move to a midfield two when on the ball, allowing Fernandes to join the attack and create from an advanced position.

Then we have the defence. Diogo Costa looks to have the goalkeeper spot nailed down, but Rui Patricio will be hoping to push him all the way. Joao Cancelo will likely play on the left, giving Portugal the option for more control on the ball, while Nelson Semedo provides the width on the right. Ruben Dias will be one of the centre-backs, but his partner will be an interesting one. Does Martinez go for the youth of 22-year-old Goncalo Inacio, or the experience of 41-year-old Pepe?

Fan and Media Perspectives

Fans are always confident of Portugal doing well then they have Cristiano Ronaldo in the side and Roberto Martinez seems to won them over. This is completely different to when Fernando Santos was in charge, with fans constantly upset with his tactics before he was replaced in December 2022.

The media were hugely critical of Portugal after their poor showing at the last European Championships, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to move to Coca-Cola bottles during his press conference put the spotlight more on him than the team.