Portugal vs France

July 8, 2016
By: Milos Markovic

Entire month of football excitement has come down to a single match as Euro 2016 draws to a close with the final showdown between Portugal and France at Stade de France on Sunday. Both finalists are heading into the clash in high spirits and there is no doubt that we should all expect a highly eventful affair.

Proper Portugal

Having been labelled ugly ducklings of the European Championship finals, Portugal have finally stepped up their game and transformed themselves into beautiful swans. The Selecao failed to win a single match in normal time up to their semi-final clash against Wales as they were outplayed by Croatia and Poland in previous stages of the tournament. Undeterred in their desire to reach the final at all cost, Fernando Santos’ men demonstrated great desire, grit and commitment to dispatch the Euro’s surprise package Wales 2-0 in the semi-finals. Cristiano Ronaldo was the man of the hour as Real Madrid scored a flying header to put his team in front and then unintentionally set up Nani for the second goal of the game, which was enough to see Portugal go through to the final match. Portugal are aware of the challenge that lies ahead as they are faced with an attack-oriented team, but the Selecao will do their best to improve their performances and get the job done against the tournament hosts.

Portugal defender Pepe is still struggling with a thigh problem and Bruno Alves is ready to deputise for the Real Madrid centre back. On the bright side, William Carvalho is getting back from suspension and is expected to be given a place in the starting line-up at the expense of Danilo Pereira.

Flying France

Firm favourites to win the 2016 European Championship France have gotten one step close to realising their dream. Les Bleus have become the second Euro host nation to reach the tournament’s final and will be keen to go one step further and lift the coveted trophy that would be a much deserved prize for a highly talented generation led by Didier Deschamps. France have been one of the most consistent teams in the tournament so far, but it is fair to say that Didier Dechamps’ men were hampered by high expectations and pressure from the stands at times which threatened to ruin their campaign. However, the team benefitted from the individual brilliance of the world-class stars such as Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet and their final two matches will be a particular boost ahead of the final match. France scored 5 past Iceland prior to their high-profile match against the World Cup holders Germany which was solved by two goals from Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann. French forward took his tally to six goals at the tournament thanks to a brace against Die Mannschaft and will be keen to extend his record against Portugal as well.

Samuel Umtiti put in brilliant performances as he deputised for Adil Rami and could be given an extended run in the back. N’Golo Kante is likely to be reinstated in the starting line-up after starting the match against Germany from the bench. Didier Dechamps will be glad to report thatthere are no selection issues for the final.


France have never lost a competitive game against Portugal and we do expect Les Bleus to extend their impressive run against the Selecao. Les Bleus are in fantastic form and will lack no motivation or support from the terraces as they head out for the coveted trophy. We see great value in betting on the hosts to be crowned the European champions.

Top pick: France   2.04 (24/23) @Unibet

Alternative pick 1: Antoine Griezmann to score anytime   2.75 (7/4) @Bet365

Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals   1.5 (1/2) @888sport

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