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Portugal vs. Wales, Euro 2016: Time, TV schedule and team news for semifinals

It's Bale vs. Ronaldo as Real Madrid's biggest stars collide when Wales face Portugal in the European Championship semifinals.

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The first Euro 2016 semifinal is almost here, with Cinderella story Wales squaring off with Portugal, who have advanced in bizarre fashion despite not winning a single match in normal time all tournament long. It's also going to give us a heck of a treat -- Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, normally teammates for Real Madrid, going mano a mano as the two biggest attacking stars in this match and left in the tournament.

The game kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. It will be on TV on ESPN, or watch online on WatchESPN.

Wales have been one of the most wonderfully entertaining sides in the tournament and a fantastic story, making the Euros for the first time in their history and riding a huge wave of momentum and excitement to a series of wonderful performances. Those performances saw them not only win their group, but easily beat Northern Ireland and dominate Belgium despite going down early in their quarterfinal match.

But Portugal won't be an easy opponent to defeat, putting in some stellar defensive performances and getting just enough done in attack to get this far. They're going to have to kick things up a notch to take down Wales, though -- they're not going to play as conservatively as Poland did, or as Croatia did, or Hungary or Austria did. The only team that Portugal has faced who didn't play conservatively so far was Iceland way back in the group stage -- a team that's a somewhat less talented version of Wales and who earned a 1-1 group stage draw against Portugal despite outplaying them. If Portugal can't be much better against Wales, this match won't go their way.

Key matchup -- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) vs. Gareth Bale (Wales)

The great duel of Real Madrid attacking stars is upon us, and it's almost certainly going to be their battle that determines the outcome of the match. Now, because of where they play it's very unlikely that we see Ronaldo and Bale go right at each other much, if even at all, but their influence will be felt all over the pitch as their teams' respective standout stars, and two of the best attacking talents in the world. Come the end of the night, whichever of these two stars had the best performance will almost certainly be the one celebrating a huge win and a berth in the Euro 2016 final.

Key factor -- Will Portugal come out of their shell?

We all know that Wales have basically no fear of any kind. They'll go straight at Portugal from the first whistle and won't relent until the match ends. Portugal, on the other hand, are a different story -- they've been playing a very conservative game throughout the tournament, so much so that they actually have yet to win a single match in normal time -- they drew all three group matches, and won one knockout match at the death of extra time, and the other on penalties. If they don't open things up, though, they might not be able to get the goals they'll need against Wales -- but by the same token, Portugal opening up their approach to the game might give Wales the opening they need to win the game themselves. It's a delicate balance, and seeing how Portugal go about things will be quite interesting to watch.

Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. local

Venue: Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France

TV: ESPN (US - English), RTP 1, Sport TV1 (Portugal), ITV 1 (Wales & UK)

Online: WatchESPN (US), The ITV Hub (Wales & UK)

Listings via LiveSoccerTV.


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