Will Cristiano Ronaldo fail against Denmark?
After Germany handed Portugal a loss in their opening match, the Danes will have the chance to bury the Euro heavyweight and set them up to not even make it out of group play.
That would be a disaster for the Portuguese squad.
After so many experts and fans had the team going far in the 2012 European Championships, Ronaldo’s failure on the biggest of stages will have the country demanding major changes.
Former member of Portugal’s national team Luis Figo told the New York Daily News about Ronaldo’s lack of success:
"I think the team need to give him the chances to have a good performance. Cristiano's style is to finish, to score, so if the team don't produce those kind of opportunities then of course his performance is down. We can still reach the quarter-finals. In Euro 2004 we lost the opening game and reached the final. We must remember that."
While there is no doubt that Ronaldo must become more desperate on the pitch, his teammates are letting him down. Any great striker will tell you how important the set-up is and it hasn’t been there.
The biggest key will be taking advantage of the Danish attempts to single-out Nani every chance they can. The Portuguese can use this to their advantage and move the ball to an open man; it will start to throw the defensive assignments into anarchy.
That’s when Cristiano is at his most dangerous.
The problem is that Denmark is as solid defensively as you could ever want from a team. If the Danes stick to their defensive plans, there is no question that they could beat Portugal.
This will be a huge upset.