Portugal Vs. Bosnia, Euro 2012 Qualifying Playoffs: Preview

Both Portugal and Bosnia-Herzegovina probably spent good chunks of the weekend fretting about the misses that could have earned either side the win in the first leg of their playoff tie last Friday, but thanks to both sides' profligacy in front of goal this playoff series is still very much in the balance. Considering what happened in the other Euro 2012 matches we were graced with on Friday, the rest of us are probably glad that none of Cristiano Ronaldo, Helder Postiga and Vedad Ibesevic could find the net in Sarajevo.

Who has the advantage going into Lisbon? It's hard to say. Portugal now have the benefit of playing at home, but then again they have no opportunity to get an away goal - if Bosnia score early, things are going to be very dicey indeed. Neither team looked to have a huge edge on the other on Friday, but the pitch was in pretty poor condition and that undoubtedly hindered Portugal's more technical game. Both sides have plenty of room to improve as well: Ronaldo wasn't his usual self and Edin Dzeko was very subdued for most of the evening, making it very difficult for Bosnia to turn midfield possession into incisive attack for all but the last thirty minutes of the match.

Portugal's best chances came from the channels, particularly the left, and since there hasn't been much time to adjust personnel one would expect the hosts to be hitting Bosnia hard in those gaps once more. Ultimately, it's more important for Portugal to prevent their guest from scoring than it is to score themselves, and that will probably be mostly down to the performance of the midfield, who weren't really very good at recovering and recirculating the ball when it was lost in Bosnia's half on Friday.

Portugal are a team packed full of excellent players, but they haven't really shown their stuff in a very long time and Bosnia have a real chance of snatching a win. So, with everything in the balance, get ready for an intense match. Catch the game at 9:00 PM GMT (4:00 PM EST) at the Estadio da Luz

Portugal vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina kicks off at 4:00 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN3 in the USA. We'll have live coverage of this and every Euro 2012 qualifying match in our Euro 2012 Qualifying Playoffs, Second Legs StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.