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Wales v Portugal: The big talking points

Wales are on the brink of the biggest football match in their history.

They meet Portugal tonight in Lyon for a place in the final of Euro 2016.

But what are the big talking points ahead of the match? Press Association Sports have been taking a look.

  • BALE V RONALDO
They're the two most expensive players in football history Credit: PA

There's no getting away from the most fascinating head-to-head duel of the tournament.

The two most expensive players in football history are Real Madrid team-mates and proven match-winners.

But that's where the similarities end with Cristiano Ronaldo focused on individual acclaim and Gareth Bale the epitome of a team man.

Bale's development has led some to suggest he's the man to take over the scoring burden from Ronaldo.

The Portugese, however, will have their own views on that, and will no doubt see this game as proving a point to his Welsh pretender.

  • RAMSEY LOSS
Ramsey trained on Tuesday but will miss Wednesday night's match Credit: PA

How Wales cope with the absence of the suspended Aaron Ramsey is pivotal.

Ramsey has been among the standout players of Euro 2016 with one goal and four assists in Wales' march to the semi-finals.

The midfielder's energy will be sorely missed given he combines defensive responsibilities with a capacity to break forward into dangerous areas.

Jonathan Williams and Andy King are the candidates to replace Ramsey, and whoever is selected has a big part to play.

  • ON THE SPOT
Portugal's Nani scores during the penalty shootout of the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final soccer match between Poland and Portugal Credit: PA

If it comes down to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner then Wales might be at a disadvantage. A lack of major tournament experience means that Chris Coleman's side would be treading new grounds after 120 minutes.

But Portugal are no strangers to kick-spot contests after beating England on penalties at both Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

  • FATIGUE FACTOR
Portugal have not yet finished in normal time during the tournament Credit: PA

Will Portugal pay for the fact that they have failed to get the job done in 90 minutes? It's remarkable that they have reached the semi-finals without winning in normal time - drawing their three group games and then needing extra time to beat Croatia and penalties to see off Poland.

By contrast Wales have won four of their five games in 90 minutes and, apart from their last-grasp defeat to England, have finished games strongly and tended to score late on.

  • RISE OF A NATION
Credit: VI Images/Belga/PA Images

Wales have already exceeded expectations by reaching the last four - the first British side to do so at a major finals for 20 years. So anything now would be considered a bonus.

But there is real belief within this Wales squad that the journey is not about to end just yet.

Less than five years ago Wales were ranked 117th in the world, the next FIFA rankings should place them in the top six.

Wales' success has created unparalleled interest in the sport - as proven by packed fan zones at home, and huge travelling numbers in France.

Kick off is at 8.00pm.

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