Wales can reach a first major tournament final with victory over Portugal tonight evening after their shock win over Belgium in the last eight.
Real Madrid stars Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will enter opposing dressing rooms in Lyon and their tussle will form a fascinating subplot, but Chris Coleman will be focused on harnessing the team spirit which has carried Wales to this point.
Portugal are yet to win in 90 minutes at the France finals, while Wales brushed aside world No 2 side Belgium and also recorded wins against Northern Ireland, Russia and Slovakia earlier in the tournament.
And Coleman is ready to produce another scalp.
“We know Portugal are favourites,” he said. “they have had tournament experience and played at World Cups, and we’ll go into it as underdogs. But that’s no problem at all.”
Wales are the first Euro debutants to reach the last four since Sweden in 1992, when Germany edged a five-goal semi. But what else is ther to know ahead of Wednesday’s match?
Wales face Portugal at the Stade des Lumieres in Lyon on Wednesday July 6, with kick-off scheduled for 8pm UK time.
Wales will be without Tottenham defender Ben Davies and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey after both were handed their second bookings of the tournament against Belgium, earning one-game suspensions.
James Collins is expected to deputise for Davies, while Andy King is in line to replace Ramsey.
Portugal will be without William Carvalho, who was cautioned during the shootout victory over Poland in the quarter-finals.
What they’re saying
Wales manager, Chris Coleman: “The bigger countries have got to get into quarter-finals, semi-finals, final. We didn’t. We had to come and perform for us, for inside our camp.
“Other countries who’ve been there before – the pressure is different for them. I’ve not really got any interest in other countries, whether that’s England, Spain or whoever.
“It’s just about Wales and the next game in the campaign has always been our biggest one. We know Portugal are favourites, they have had tournament experience and played at World Cups, and we’ll go into it as underdogs. But that’s no problem at all.
Portugal coach, Fernando Santos: “Of course, Wales and Iceland are the teams everyone likes, because nobody expected them to get this far,” Santos told reporters at the French Rugby Federation’s headquarters on the outskirts of Paris where Portugal are now based.
“I’m not worried about being the ugly duckling or someone who feels sorry for himself. I’m interested about getting to the final and winning it,” added Santos, whose side face Wales in Lyon on Wednesday in their semifinal.
“It doesn’t bother me or the players at all. Would I like us to be pretty? Yes. But, in between being pretty and being at home, or being ugly and being here, I prefer to be ugly.”