Iniesta expects war of attrition

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta believes Portugal will set out to try and negate the defending champions’ attacking flair in Wednesday’s Euro 2012 semi-final clash (Portugal 7/2, Spain 10/11, draw 12/5 Match Prices).

The Iberian rivals are set to square off in Donetsk for the right to face either Italy or Germany in the final and it has all the makings of a classic encounter.

While Spain have not always been at their best in the tournament, their progress to the last four seemed inevitable and, on top form, they should be too good for the Portuguese.

But they have been criticised for their style of play at times in Poland and Ukraine, with many observers feeling that coach Vicente del Bosque has not always got his tactics right.

But he will need to be spot on against a Portugal side boasting arguably the second-best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo.

While they are not a one-man team, the Real Madrid star is clearly their greatest attacking threat and has seemed intent on shooting any time he gets the ball within 30 yards of goal at Euro 2012.

He was ineffective when Portugal met Spain in the last-16 of the 2010 World Cup as the Spaniards managed to break down a stubborn rearguard to claim a 1-0 victory on that occasion.

And Iniesta feels that Paulo Bento will set his men up in a similar way to two years ago at the Donbass Arena to try to keep Spain at bay before hitting them on the counter-attack (Under 1.5 Goals 13/8).

“Portugal’s style or idea is more or less the same as it was in the World Cup,” he said. “We will see how they set up but I think they will wait for us, try to close the space inside so that we have less fluidity to our play.”

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