The stage is set, and the Puskas Arena will be the venue for another round of rivalry between the defending champions of the European Championships Portugal and the current world champions France. The French will be hoping to cause the Portuguese a heartbreak of the same gravitas which they themselves suffered from the finals defeat in 2016, making this all the more an intriguing encounter.
MATCH PREVIEWEmbed from Getty Images
Both sides started the tournament in one of the best ways possible, but they then stumbled in their round two fixtures. Portugal suffered a massive defeat against a guns blazing German side by a score of 4-2, and the French salvaged a draw against a spirited Hungarian side.
Despite their recent stumbles, their performances over their last five games has been nothing short of incredible. The Portuguese have won 3 or their last 5 fixtures, including a resounding 3-0 victory against Hungary. They’ve also successfully found the back of the net nine times in their last three games, a feat that is easily traceable to their talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The French on the other hand have won all but their last match against Hungary, and are yet to lose in nine consecutive games.
TEAM NEWS / HEAD TO HEADEmbed from Getty Images
Fernando Santos will have to do without two youngsters tomorrow as both Joao Felix and left back Nuno Mendes are out with muscle injuries. Though both are yet to feature for the Portuguese so far, they have proven over time to be quite dependable backups for Fernando Santos.
For Didier Deschamps and his French side, every individual except Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is available for tomorrow’s fixture. It is speculated that the forward is set for a four-month stint on the sidelines after picking up a knock against Hungary.
The last five meetings between both sides have seen the French side come out top on three occasions and the Portuguese victorious just once. It was however a victory that the Portuguese will dub the all important one, as it saw them clinch the prestigious European Championships in 2016.
POSSIBLE STARTING XI’S
It is expected of Fernando Santos to tweak a little in regards to his line up tomorrow with either Rafa Silva or Renato Sanches getting the nod ahead of William Carvalho.
Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Danilo Pereira, Renato Sanches, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota
Hugo Lloris, Benjamín Pavard, Raphael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Correntin Tolisso, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema
It promises to be nothing short of exciting, and with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema set for a reunion, it is sure to be a cracker. Thanks for reading and be back for our match recap after the game!
you might also enjoy…
The Longball – Newcastle’s New Found Fortune, Wolves’ South Korean Sensation and United’s Injury Crisis
John and Declan are joined by Jamie Smith of The Mag to talk about the Newcastle takeover, how Manchester United can deal with the injuries to Maguire and Varane, and Declan’s souring opinion of the Bees of Brentford! Follow the show on social media @mastermindsite and use the links below to follow our great panel.
Since taking over from Gennarro Gattuso in May 2021, Luciano Spalletti has turned Napoli into one of Serie A’s most formidable units. While a fifth place finish in the 2020-21 season was a fine result for Gli Azzurri, it wasn’t what they had hoped for, nor what they could have achieved. In came Spalletti and POOF(!) the team are now on an unbeaten run at the start of the 2021-22 season, winning seven from seven. After Inter Milan broke Juventus’ long-standing record last season, the Napoli faithful will now be hoping Serie A might be theirs for the taking this year. Here is a tactical analysis of Luciano Spalletti’s new-look Napoli.
Although we all love the beautiful game, we may watch for different reasons. Some tune in as a family tradition. Others for personal or professional interest. And still others purely for the sake of entertainment. Here, today, I hope to add one more reason to your list if it’s there already: watch to learn. Specifically, to learn how a football club compiles individual contributions of skill, athleticism, intelligence, and desire, and stations those facets of the game for collective success. This is my working definition of football tactics inherent to formations.