Euro 2016 – Preview of the Final – France v Portugal

Sunday’s Euro 2016 Final sees France take on Portugal at the Stade de France. While the hosts have seemed to gather momentum with each game that they have played, especially in their knockout games; Portugal have won little praise thanks to their pragmatic and quite frankly rather boring approach.

Both teams have significant firepower up front in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo and player of the tournament so far Antoine Griezmann and it would be easy to see this as a battle of those two Madrid-based superstars.

France unquestionably go into this match as favourites and have the advantage in terms of players and history; but this tournament has given us some brilliantly unpredictable moments.

For me the key to this game rests in midfield, after being overrun for large parts of the semi-final against Germany; it is highly likely that Deschamps will restore N’Golo Kante to provide a solid base for the drive and energy of Pogba and Matuidi; this should allow France to dominate that area which would provide them with the platform to get at Portugal’s back four.

I don’t see Portugal risking too much and would anticipate them sitting deep just as they did against Wales; but for me France will have too much for them and, as long as they don’t underestimate Portugal, should go on to claim their third Euro crown.

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