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Portugal have been dealt a big blow ahead of their semi-final with Wales

Fernando Santos’s side will be without a key defender this evening.

Pepe is one of Portugal's most experienced players.
Pepe is one of Portugal's most experienced players.
Image: EMPICS Sport

Updated at 19.35

REAL MADRID CENTRE-BACK Pepe missed Portugal’s Euro 2016 semi-final against Wales in Lyon on Wednesday due to a thigh injury, with Bruno Alves taking his place in the team.

Pepe was unable to train on the eve of the game and ceded his place to Cagliari’s Alves in one of three changes made by Portugal coach Fernando Santos to the team that edged Poland on penalties in the last eight.

Fit-again Raphael Guerreiro came in for Eliseu at left-back, while Danilo took over from the suspended William Carvalho in central midfield at Stade de Lyon.

Wales manager Chris Coleman made two changes, bringing in centre-back James Collins and midfielder Andy King for suspended pair Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey.

King, who played a part in Leicester City’s fairytale Premier League title triumph last season, got the nod over Jonathan Williams to replace in-form Arsenal star Ramsey.

Collins, meanwhile, started despite speculation Coleman was considering moving right wing-back Chris Gunter into his back three and bringing Jazz Richards into the team on the right flank.

Portugal are bidding to reach a second major final after Euro 2004, where they lost as hosts to Greece, while Wales have never previously gone beyond the quarter-finals at a major tournament.

Starting line-ups in the Euro 2016 semi-final between Portugal and Wales at Stade de Lyon on Wednesday (1900 GMT kick-off):

Portugal (4-4-2)

Rui Patricio; Cedric Soares, Bruno Alves, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Renato Sanches, Danilo, Adrien Silva, Joao Mario; Cristiano Ronaldo (capt), Nani

Coach: Fernando Santos (POR)

Wales (3-5-1-1)

Wayne Hennessey; James Chester, Ashley Williams (capt), James Collins; Chris Gunter, Andy King, Joe Allen, Joe Ledley, Neil Taylor; Gareth Bale; Hal Robson-Kanu

Coach: Chris Coleman (WAL)

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

 - © AFP, 2016

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