Hugo Almeida to start for Portugal against Spain

The forward will be given the nod to start for the first time in the tournament, and he is hopeful that he will be able to score, despite the quality of La Roja's centre-back duo
Besiktas striker Hugo Almeida has confirmed that he will start for Portugal in their Euro 2012 semi-final clash against Spain on Wednesday.

Seleccao coach Paulo Bento had been assessing his options in attack after Helder Postiga sustained a muscular injury against Czech Republic, which will rule him out of the semi-finals, and possibly the tournament decider, should the Portuguese progress.

Semi-final profile: Portugal
Almeida, who has so far made just one appearance at Euro 2012, is happy to have been given his chance against the world and European champions and hopes to make the most of it.

"I am satisfied," he said at a press conference. "This is what I have been working for. I will show my worth on the field and will give my all.

"To win the match, we need to score goals. This is our first target. We know what Spain are worth, but we deserved to be here. We will do anything to win."

The 28-year-old is wary of the challenge posed by the Spanish centre-back pairing, but he is confident that he will have chances to score against La Roja.

"Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos are great defenders, playing at the best clubs in the world," Almeida added. "I am sure it will be very difficult to face them.

"I will do my best, and if I can score a goal, that is even better. With my head or my feet. What matters is to score."

Portugal's clash against Spain on Wednesday kicks off at 20:45CET.