Euro 2020: European champions Portugal take on the world champions France in Group F

Portugal and France clashed in November last year at the UEFA Nations League with the world champions eking out a narrow 1-0 win.

The European Champs meet the World Champs in their final game of the group stages, Image credit: Twitter

The European champions Portugal meet the world champions France in a mouth-watering Group F Euro 2020 clash. Portugal’s qualification to the knockout stage still hangs in the balance. When Cristiano Ronaldo and company meet the star-studded French team on Wednesday, it will be their final group stage game. A draw is all Portugal need to advance, and while they very well could move on even with a loss, some potential results elsewhere could actually see the reigning champs crash out of the competition.

Portugal Euro 2020 qualification hopes

As things stand, just a draw will guarantee they finish as one of the four best third-place teams. Easier said than done against France, as they will be looking to finish top in their group. But a loss could put them in a tricky situation. Let’s say France were to win 3-0. If that happens and both Spain and Croatia win, which is quite realistic and expected, Portugal would be on the outside looking in.

It is worth remembering that Portugal failed to win any of their group matches En route to Euro 2016 glory. The 3-0 thrashing of Hungary – although all three goals came at the final 10 minutes of the game – was an indication of what the champions are capable of, but Santos’s side became the first Euros champions in history to concede four goals in one match last time out.

Portugal have never failed to make it out of the group stage during their previous seven appearances at the European Championships, but their fate remains in their own hands.

It’s a rematch of the Euro 2016 final, and hardly anybody gave Portugal much of a chance there. It will be interesting to see how this match pans out.

FRANCE NEED THE TOP PLACE FINISH

A win for France will guarantee them first place in the ‘group of death’, meaning they would play a third-place team in the next round. A draw might not be enough though, as Germany are heavily favored against Hungary in the other Group F match. However, Germany would win the group with a victory as long as France fail to win.

As a result, we don’t expect to see a lot of rotation in squad. Although, the French will be hoping to get better results in the final third. Through two Euro matches, they have scored just two goals, and one of them being an own goal. The finishing just hasn’t been up to the mark. The squad produced 15 shots against Hungary last time out but settled for a 1-1 draw. Perhaps we could see Olivier Giroud get a bit more time as Karim Benzema continues to get back into the flow of things after his return to the national squad.

Portugal and France are locking horns five years after Eder’s effort propelled Santos’s side to Euro 2016 glory in the final, but Les Bleus gained revenge with a 1-0 Nations League win over the holders in November 2020, during which N’Golo Kante scored the winner.

PREDICTED PLAYING XI

Portugal Predicted XI:
Patricio; Semedo, Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; Pereira, Sanches, Fernandes; B.Silva, Ronaldo, Jota

France Predicted XI:
Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba, Tolisso; Griezmann; Mbappe, Benzema




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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