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!
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