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JOL ON LAST EIGHT DATE

Posted on 30 June 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol offers his take on Saturday's World Cup quarter final clash between England and Portugal in Gelsenkirchen.

Martin Jol offers his take on Saturday's World Cup quarter final clash between England and Portugal in Gelsenkirchen.

PORTUGAL ARE A very hard team to beat. They've got the flair of a Brazilian team, not just because of Luiz Felipe Scolari, as they had it in the past and are very similar. There are also a lot of Brazilians playing in Portugal.

The are defensively very organised though and do not concede many goals - as you have seen in the games they have played in this World Cup. They are hard to beat but, for this game, they will miss Deco, Costinha and maybe Ronaldo.

The best opportunity to beat them is now. I predicted the eight quarter finalists in a pre-World Cup publication for the BBC and tipped England to progress from there and I am not changing my mind.

Portugal have got it right tactically and have done well, they attack when they can attack and defend well when they have to. Against Holland they had to defend with a player less for much the game and they did that.

It will be a tough game but England have got the edge because of the key players that will not be there. I think England will keep the same shape, but will maybe change a couple of players.

People say England need to improve but it is very difficult in such a short space of time. The spirit is good and that is the main thing.

MARTIN'S SEMI-FINAL SELECTIONS: England, Argentina, Italy, Brazil.