England v Portugal forwards head to head

Last updated at 12:15 24 June 2004

As England prepare for their biggest match of Euro 2004, we take a look at forwards who will be going head to head in tonight's game:

Paul Scholes v Cristiano Ronaldo

The Manchester United favourite ended a three-year goal drought for England by scoring in the victory against Croatia.

It was a typical Scholes' goal, sneaking in undetected to find the target. A players' player who never let his head drop during that barren run and instead continued to work tirelessly for the team.

Ronaldo will be aiming to put one over his Old Trafford team-mate after becoming an emerging force in the tournament. Scored in the opening-day defeat by Greece, had a hand in the win over Russia then tormented the life out of Spain in a crucial victory. Undeniable skill but is now also a creator of many chances.

Michael Owen v Luis Figo

A goal from the popular Liverpool striker is long overdue as it was for Scholes. Owen may not have that electric pace any more but he remains a bright, intelligent player, who brings others into play. Just needs a little break like any natural scorer and that may come against Portugal when England need it most.

For Figo this is a huge game and one where his colossal reputation is on the line. Defeat is unthinkable for the nation and for him personally. Worked hard in the opening matches but that magic that can turn games and win matches was missing. The Portuguese supporters will be praying he can raise his game.

Wayne Rooney v Nuno Gomes

Four goals in two games have brought the 18-year-old striker the kind of hype that David Beckham has become accustomed to.

Everton's finest has played with remarkable maturity, showing the kind of finishing touch that marks him down as a huge talent. England can only hope that the weight of expectation is not too much a burden.

Playing as a lone striker, Nuno Gomes will fill in in the absence of Paris St Germain goal machine Pauleta. Starred for Portugal at Euro 2000 but the intervening years have been less kind to the Benfica man.

However, his winner against Spain made him the nation's hero and his confidence will be high. Scored the winner when these sides met at Euro 2000.

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