Bosnia and Portugal will battle it out this Friday night for one of the golden spots in the Euro 2012 Championship when they meet in their first leg play off match, kick off 7.00pm.
Both sides have met before in a playoff situation, having met at the same stage when qualifying for the World Cup two years ago. Bosnia coach Safet Susic has done a good job since taking over as coach after that defeat, and Bosnia is in a much better position to test Portugal this time around.
With the likes of Senad Lulic, Miralem Pjanic and Manchester City start Edin Dzeko in the team Bosnia are well up to troubling the bets teams in Europe, as they showed when they almost left Paris with a win in their game against France during the qualifying campaign.
Holding midfielder Haris Medunjanin is another good weapon for Bosnia. His drifting style of play makes him hard to mark and can be seen swooping late and fast, ala Paul Scholes, when the opportunity arises.
Portugal come into the game in somewhat of a mess. They have already lost Real Madrid star Ricardo Carvalho has retired from international football after a disagreement with head coach Paulo Bento Bento has also been the subject of Jose Bosingwa who launched a stinging attack on Bento, saying, “It is public knowledge that he is a coach in conflict with his players … in my opinion, he does not have the emotional and mental capacity to be a leader of men.”
While they have superb options out wide in the form of Nani and Ronaldo, they lack a really top class striker that they can rely on. They will need both wingers to be on form over the two legs or else a shock could be on the cards.
The bookies don’t give Bosnia much of a chance over the two legs. They may not qualify, but they could just sneak a result tomorrow night and set things up for the return leg next week in Portugal.