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8 midfielders to watch in Euro 2016 semis

Top 8 midfielders ahead of Portugal vs Wales, Germany vs France

July 4, 2016 By Andrew Amoth Wandola
Here are the eight midfielders to keep an eye on in the semi-finals of the ongoing European Championship in France,

The midfield. This is one of the most crucial parets of the pitch that could change any game in a matter of seconds. With the avaibility of star midfielders in he ongoing Euro 2016, we take a look at the best eight to watch in the semi-finals of the competition.

Renato Sanches (Portugal)

The 18-year-old Portuguese forward was trending on social media following his display against Poland in their Euro 2016 quarter-final when he scored a screamer. The beautiful goal aside, the dreadlocked midfielder was officially the youngest goal scorer in a knockout match at the European Championship. The Bayern Munich midfielder also became the youngest starter for Portugal at a major tournament, a record that was previously held by Cristiano Ronaldo. He has played four matches for Seleccao in this tournament, scored one goal, and completed 134 passes, which translates to 91% pass completion rate.Renato Sanches

Toni Kroos (Germany)

The German midfield maestro has played five games in this tournament so far, and was instrumental in his side’s win over Italy last weekend. He has had three attempts on target in this competition but is yet to score a goal. The 26-year-old Man City target has registered a pass completion rate of 94% in the European Championship so far and is expected to command Die Mannschaft’s midfield to stop the marauding Paul Pogba and co. when France face Germany in the semis of the competition. 

Mesut Ozil (Germany)

Ozil is the kind of a player who can get the ball to the strikers through thick and thin. The Arsenal midfield sensation has completed 91% of his passes in the five matches he has played for Germany in the ongoing European Championship. With one goal and one assist already to his name so far in France, all eyes will be on him to neutralize the Pogba and Payet effect and get the ball to Mario Gotze or whoever will be selected to lead the hunt for goals for Joachim Low’s men, now that their key striker Mario Gotze has been ruled out due to injury.Mesut Ozil

Paul Pogba (France)

Pogba is one of the most sought-after midfielders in modern football. He is so good that Man United are reportedly willing to offer his club Juventus 100 million pounds to land his signature. He has played a total of five matches for France in the ongoing Euros, scored one goal, and completed 89% of his passes. The ex-Man Utd man is expected to be the link between France’s midfield and Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in the hunt for goals in the much-anticipated semi-finals of the competition on Thursday. Paul Pogba

Moussa Sissoko (France)

Having played four matches so far in the European Championship in France, the Newcastle United forward has completed 89% of his passes at the tournament. In the match against Iceland, he was in sensational form, having completed 92% of his passes and created three chances. He also won 50% of his tackles, including two interceptions and one clearance. Moussa Sissoko

Joe Allen (Wales)

Often referred to as the Andrea Pirlo of Liverpool, the Welsh midfielder has been instrumental in his side’s progress to the semi-finals of the European Championship. He has had an overall pass accuracy of 89% in the five games he has played for the Dragons in this competition. Thanks to the unavailability of Aaron Ramsey who has been suspended after picking up two yellow-cards, Allen will be responsible for containing Portugal’s midfielders. Joe Allen

Blaise Matuidi (France)

The central midfielder has played all matches for his country so far in the European Championship and completed 93% of his passes. It is no surprise that he has been linked with a move to Man Utd after being spotted in Manchester a day after his country’s win over Iceland. The 29-year-old has strong defensive capabilities, energy and high work-rate. Blaise Matuidi

Joao Mario (Portugal)

The Portuguese had also been linked with a move to Old Trafford until new boss Jose Mourinho ruled out the possibility of signing a player from his home country this season. At 23, he has provided a solid rock for Seleccao at the midfield in all their five games in the tournament, having completed 88% of his passes so far.

Joao Mario

The Sporting Lisbon man is well-known for his pace, great work-rate, and ability to attack and defend when necessary. He is expected to partner with the equally-good Renato Sanches in the midfield to cut Wales’ supply of the ball to the lethal Gareth Bale on Wednesday. 

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