Portugal vs France Match Preview

France took a knock in their second group game, falling to a shock draw against Hungary yet they still sit top of the group for now, on four points.

Hungary vs Portugal

Portugal swept aside Hungary in matchday one but was themselves swept aside 4-2 by a hungry looking German side and both teams will be looking to bounce back from dropping points.

  • Head to head:

In five previous meetings between these two France have W3, D2 although Portugal won one of those draws 1-0 AET. France have scored four and conceded two over those games.

  • Odds:

Portugal are 4/0 to win the game and France are 2/25 to win the game.

  • Previous defensive record:

Portugal conceded four to Germany after their clean sheet on matchday one. Whereas France also conceded after their clean sheet on matchday one but they only conceded the one goal.

  • Players to watch:

Five (26.32%) of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 19 goals for Portugal at major finals have come on ‘matchday three’ – he stands two international goals shy of the all-time international goalscoring record, held by Iran’s Ali Daei (109). Antoine Griezmann (France) can also make a historic impact as one goal would put him joint-third with Thierry Henry (12) for France goals at major tournaments.

  • Team News:

Joao Felix and Nuno Mendes (Portugal) are doubts with injury. Kingsley Coman (France) will miss out with personal reasons and Ousmane Dembele (France) is out with a knee injury.

Misses next match if booked: Ruben Dias (Portugal)

Misses next match if booked: Pavard (France)

  • Predicted Line-ups:

Portugal possible line-up: Rui Patrício; Nélson Semedo, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; Danilo, Renato Sanches, Bruno Fernandes; Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Diogo Jota

France possible line-up: Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernández; Pogba, Kanté, Tolisso; Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappé

Managers view:

Fernando Santos, Portugal: “We will have to look at [the footage of the 4-2 defeat against Germany] and now what we have to do is clear our heads as we have a very important game against France.”

Didier Deschamps, France: “The most important thing is that I have every faith in [Benzema] and so, too, does the entire squad. There are times when strikers don’t score goals. They are judged on whether they score or not.”

Last six form guide:

Portugal: LWWDWD

France: DWWWWW

This looks to be one of the closest groups in the tournament as the top three are separated by just one point, with the first and third playing each other in the final game.

All three could qualify by the end though as the top two automatically go through and four of the best third placed teams also get progression.

If France finally find their scoring boots and Portugal play as they did in matchday one, this game could go either way and yet be one of the most entertaining goal fests in this tournament so far.

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