Euro 2012: Pereira says Spain not automatic favourites to win semifinal

London: Portugal left back Joao Pereira has said they are ready to give Spain a run for their money during the Euro Cup semifinal clash, and added the current world and European champions are not automatic favourites to win the tournament.

Pereira also warned Spain that their players won’t be showing too much respect to them, and believes it should be an equally matched game of football.

“Each side has a 50 per cent chance of qualifying for the final. We must have a healthy respect for Spain, but we are not going to respect them too much, because we too have great players, of great value to us,” a daily quoted Pereira, as saying.

Pereira, whose slide-rule pass set up Cristiano Ronaldo`s first goal in the 2-1 win over Holland last Sunday, believes they have the momentum with them after three back to back wins following opening round defeat to Germany.

“Even if we started badly, we have improved a lot. I hope we will be even more confident against Spain. It will be important not to commit errors, because they will pounce on those,” Pereira said.

“The best thing would be to succeed in pressing them and us retaining possession,” he said. Obviously that could prove to be a bit difficult because Spain love playing the passing game, and if they play with six midfielders like they have done, it will be tough to score,” he added.


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