Is Cristiano Ronaldo the key to halting Spain's Euro 2012 progress?

With the Real Madrid forward in devastating form for Paulo Bento's men, Phil Kitromilides is backing goals in tonight's first semi-final in Donetsk
This Iberian derby has traditionally been a close encounter, with five of the last nine meetings between the sides ending in a draw.

Though it has been billed as Cristiano Ronaldo versus Spain, partly due to the Real Madrid forward's recent stunning form in the competition, the Portuguese will be confident of getting one over on their neighbours, having triumphed 4-0 the last time they met back in 2010.

Bet365 offer odds of 7/2 (4.50) on a Portugal victory and their quick counterattacking play may be perfectly suited to absorbing the inevitable Spanish pressure before breaking with devastating consequences.

Despite failing to illuminate the tournament as they had done four years ago, holders Spain remain odds on favourites at 19/20 (1.95), while the draw is available at 9/4 (3.25), which, given the record between these two sides, could hold some merit for a value bet.

If the Seleccao possess the most impressive forward in the competition in the shape of Cristiano Ronaldo, and Spain the most creative midfield, then backing goals in the game looks like being the way forward.

Eight out of Spain's last 12 competitive games have seen over 2.5 goals scored and despite Vicente del Bosque often controversially choosing to play without a recognised striker, the side have scored seven goals in four games at Euro 2012.

With the attacking threat posed by the aforementioned, Ronaldo not to mention the likes of Nani, playmaker Joao Moutinho and even flying wing back Fabio Coentrao, the chances of goals increase further, and the price of 17/10 (2.70) on three or more being scored looks extremely tempting.

Followers of La Liga will be all too aware of the normally minuscule prices offered on Cristiano Ronaldo to score at any time.

Having netted 46 times in the league for Real Madrid last season, Ronaldo is almost always priced at odds on to score during a match.

That makes the 15/8 (2.87) offered for him to net during Wednesday's game extremely tempting given his form and the fact that he will be playing against stars that he faces every week in the Spanish League.

That, of course, works both ways and La Roja will be acutely aware of Ronaldo's talent, yet from a purely value point of view the price is difficult to ignore.

Over 2.5 goals at 17/10 (2.70) with Bet365

Draw at 9/4 (3.25) with Bet365

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid, you can also follow Phil on Twitter