Portugal vs France - Competition: Euro 2016 Final
Date: 10 July 2016 - Kick-off Time: 20:00 BST
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Portugal secured their place in the final on Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory against Wales. Both goals came in quick succession early in the second half with Ronaldo opening the scoring and Nani adding the second. Having drawn all three of their group games, the Portuguese needed extra-time to see off Croatia and then required a penalty shoot-out to get the better of Poland. Hence, the victory over Wales was their first one in regulation time. Their defense has been very impressive for most of the tournament. Excluding their wild 3-3 draw with Hungary, they have conceded just two goals in their other five games. The Portuguese team are complete underdogs going into Sunday's final as they have lost their last 10 matches against France.
Head coach Fernando Santos will be desperate to have Pepe back for the final after he missed last time out. Midfielder William Carvalho is available again following suspension and could replace Danilo in the defensive midfield role. Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to lead the line once again. Joao Mario is favourite over Moutinho for a starting berth in midfield.
France's offensive weapons didn't exactly fire on all cylinders against Germany but they were able to capitalize on the Germans’ mistakes, which was enough to get the 2-0 win. Les Blues took the lead thanks to a Griezmann penalty and he added a second on 72 minutes to seal the win. Prior to the semi final, France beat Iceland 5-2 in the quarter finals and came back from a 1-0 half time deficit to beat Republic of Ireland 2-1 in the last 16 round. In the group stage they needed late goals to seal wins over Romania (2-1) and Albania (2-0) before playing out a 0-0 draw against Switzerland.
France are likely to name an unchanged side from the one that kncoked out Germany meaning that N'Golo Kante and Adil Rami are likely to be benched. Didier Deschamps is likely to field a 4-3-3 formation with Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet supporting the central forward Olivier Giroud. In the middle of the park Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Moussa Sissoko are the probable starters.
Portugal last 5 matches:
18/06/16 Portugal 0 – 0 Austria
22/06/16 Hungary 3 – 3 Portugal
25/06/16 Croatia 0 – 1 E Portugal
30/06/16 Poland 1 – 1 P Portugal
06/07/16 Portugal 2 – 0 Wales
France last 5 matches:
15/06/16 France 2 – 0 Albania
19/06/16 Switzerland 0 – 0 France
26/06/16 France 2 – 1 Ireland Republic
03/07/16 France 5 – 2 Iceland
07/07/16 Germany 0 – 2 France