Key battle II

Danilo and his midfield colleagues encaged Gareth Bale in their semifinal, forcing the Welshman into less threatening regions to pick up the ball.

Carvalho is set to return as the defensive midfielder, and while Fernando Santos might contemplate a two-man screen, he hasn’t departed from the midfield diamond so far.

If Carvalho is the lone holder instead of Danilo, he will have his hands full.

Not only will he have to orchestrate Portugal’s passing tempo, he will also need to impede Griezmann.

Playing off the physically imposing Olivier Giroud, Griezmann has profited from knockdowns and loose second balls.

The space he vacates allows Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko, and Blaise Matuidi to burst forward from midfield. Carvalho & Co. are likely to share Griezmann-minding duties, right down to rotationally fouling the Frenchman.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 12:55:19 PM |

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