Euro 2016 Final - Portugal v France

We have reached the final of Euro 2016 and on Sunday night Portugal will go head-to-head with hosts France at the Stade de France for the title of European champions.

portugal football   Euro 16 Final : Portugal versus France   france football

Portugal have rather stumbled to the final, having won just one of their six games in normal time on their way to the final. However the one win was a crucial one as it came in a 2-0 defeat of Wales last time out in the semi-finals.

The first half was goalless and tense, but the game burst into life at the start of the second with Cristiano Ronaldo heading the Selecao into the lead on 50 minutes. It was not long until they were two goals ahead, as Nani diverted Ronaldo’s long-range effort into the net from close-range.

The win means that Fernando Santos’ team are now unbeaten in their last seven, but have won just two of those games in normal time.

The Selecao will once again be looking to star player Cristiano Ronaldo for inspiration in this clash. The 31-year-old has not been at his best at Euro 2016, yet has managed to contribute three goals and three assists, which have been crucial to his side making it the final.

Valencia-bound Nani will also pose an attacking threat to French backline, as the mercurial star has also found the net three times at Euro 2016.

The Selecao have an awful record against France and lost their only ever major final at Euro 2004, when they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat by Greece on home soil.

Portugal should have a fully-fit squad to choose from for this clash, after Real Madrid centre-back Pepe recover from the injury that kept him out of the game against Wales. Bruno Alves filled in against the Dragons, but is likely to start this game on the bench with Pepe returning to the starting line-up.

Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho is also likely to return in place of Danilo, after serving a one-game ban against the Welsh.

France made it through to the final by beating world champions Germany 2-0 in the semi-finals. Les Bleus took the lead in first half stoppage-time through a penalty kick from Antoine Griezmann following a hand ball in the German penalty area by midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

German certainly missed the likes of Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez in this clash and France doubled their goal tally on 72 minutes. Once it was Griezmann, as the Atletico Madrid striker scored from close-range to seal Les Bleus place in the final.

Didier Deschamps side have been in fantastic form in recent months, winning 14 from their last 16 games and suffering defeat just once. They have also been highly-effective in front of goal, scoring two or more goals in nine of their last ten internationals.

Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has played a big role in France’s scoring exploits on home soil, having found the net six times. The 25-year-old is now the overwhelming favourite to win the competitions golden boot.

The striker is not the only one from the French team who has been prolific at Euro 2016, as West Ham playmaker and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud have both found the three times at the competition. All three players will be looking to add to their impressive goal hauls so far.

History is on France’s side in this clash as they have defeated Portugal in the last ten meetings and the Selecao have not recorded a win over their opponents since 1975.

France has a fully-fit squad to choose from, but boss Didier Deschamps is likely to name an unchanged line-up from the team that defeated Germany last time out.

France have been the top scorers on home soil and will head into this clash as big favourites to be crowned European champions for a third time. Portugal will need talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to be at his best to have a chance of causing a shock in this clash.

 

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