Portugal vs France Prediction
Portugal vs France Prediction – France and Portugal will meet for one of the most anticipated games of the soccer tournament. The rematch of the Euro 2016 Final will have knockout stage implications.
HISTORY: These two powers have met four times in the Euros, and while France won the first three matches, Portugal won the previous match and lifted the European trophy.
Portugal: Tale of the Tape
Projected XI: Patricio; Semedo, Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; Pereira, Sanches, Fernandes; B Silva, Ronaldo, Jota
The defending Euroleague champions find themselves in a must-win situation, against a powerhouse seeking revenge. Portugal is in quite the predicament heading into the final day of group play. After winning their opener against Hungary, Portugal couldn’t secure the three points against Germany after a pair of own goals derailed their 1-0 lead.
Fernando Santos will likely stick with the 4-3-3 with the ultra reliable Rui Patricio between the sticks. Pepe and Ruben Dias will be the centre-back pairing, with Wolves’ Nelson Semedo and BVB’s Rafael Guerreiro pushing forward with the attack. Lille’s Renato Sanches and Man U’s Bruno Fernandes will be looked upon for creativity in the midfield, while PSG’s Danilo Pereira will lay deeper in the formation.
The Portugal front line has managed to find success through their first two games. Despite taking over 80 minutes to score against Hungary, and losing to Germany, they’ve moved the ball very effectively. Cristiano Ronaldo has added three goals to his international total, while Liverpool’s Diogo Jota found the back of the net last game as well. Veteran Bernardo Silva will be making his 58th cap.
France: Tale of the Tape
Projected XI: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Kante; Pogba, Tolisso; Griezmann; Mbappe, Benzema
France managed to win one heavyweight battle already, but they will have to tackle another one in Portugal. After uncharacteristically drawing with Hungary, the French must secure three points here if they want to win the group of death.
Hugo Lloris will line up in goal and captain Les Bleus for his 154th cap. The longtime Tottenham keeper has been a staple for the French for over 12 years, and he’s proven capable on this big stage. The Bayern Munich duo of Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez will surround Real’s Rafael Varane and PSG”s Presnel Kimpembe. Both Pavard and Hernandez burst onto the scene at the 2018 World Cup, while Varane scored the opening goal in the WC quarterfinal win over Uruguay.
The French are blessed with elite skill all over the pitch. N’Golo Kante is coming off of another great campaign with Chelsea, and he scored the lone goal in the 1-0 Nations League win over Portugal.. Paul Pogba remains a polarizing presence on the pitch. Bayern’s Corentin Tollisso will get the start, and with Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot set to have a role as well.
The front line is what sets France apart from every other team. Antoine Griezmann has played a huge role in each of the past three tournaments, and he scored the point securing goal against Hungary. Kylian Mpabbe is yet to score, but he still remains a dangerous threat in the wings. Deschamps must make the right choice between Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud, with the latter yet to receive a start after dominating World Cup Qualifiers.
Players to Watch
It’s win or go home. Portugal needs Ronaldo to show up big and deliver a win here. France may have the toughest defence in Europe, but if anyone is up for the challenge, it’s CR7. Not only is Miroslav Klose’s record of Euroleague goals up for grabs, but their chance to defend the European championship as well.
When you mix in the electricity of Mbappe and Pogba, and the physical presence of Giroud and Benzema, it’s easy to overlook France’s most consistent option, Antoine Griezmann. The Barcelona stud has scored in four of the previous five matches.
Portugal vs. France Prediction & Pick
We knew Group F would come down to this. The Euro 2016 Final rematch is what will ultimately decide who advances to the knockout stage. As appealing as Portugal may be as underdogs at home, betting against a French team that has been unbeaten in their last 12 matches doesn’t seem that welcoming either. Taking CR7 in a big time game isn’t a bad idea, but France will enter as the stronger team. As with most clashes of powers, take both teams to score and over 2.5 goals.
Prediction: POR 1 FRA 1