Euro 2016: Portugal vs France - Live stream info, probable line-up, head to head (h2h) record and match preview
After more than 29 days of mind-numbing, jaw-dropping, emotion-invoking football, it has come down to this – Portugal face hosts France in the final of the UEFA Euro 2016 at the Stade de France in Paris on Sunday. The Seleccao fueled by the goal-scoring exploits of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani have rode their luck to reach the finals – having won a solitary game in stipulated time, their 2-0 win over Wales in the semi-final. Les Blues have mesmerized the home crowd with their free-flowing football and the abundance of goals.
Antoine Griezmann leads the tournament’s goal-scoring charts with six goals under his belt, while all four of – Ronaldo, Nani, Dimitri Payet and Olivier Giroud – have three goals each to their name and feature second on the list. The three-time Ballon d’Or winner also has three assists to his name, while Giroud has managed two.
Fernando Santos’ side drew all of their three group games, before securing a penalty-shootout win over Croatia in the round of 16. Portugal then secured a nervy win over Poland in the quarters courtesy of Ricardo Quaresma’s goal in the dying minutes of extra time. The Seleccao followed it with a 2-0 win over debutant Wales in the semis.
France have scored 13 goals so far in the tournament and after topping their group, they have followed it up with convincing wins in all of their knockout games. They started the knockouts with a 2-1 win over Republic of Ireland, before sending the Vikings home courtesy of a 5-2 rout. In the semi-final, despite being on the backfoot for most parts of the game, Les Blues recorded a rather convincing 2-0 win over World Champions Germany.
In what is going to be an epic final encounter between the hosts and underdogs, Portugal. It is also expected to be the last chance that Ronaldo has to cement his legacy as one of the greatest of all-time and have an upper hand over Lionel Messi, after the latter announced his retirement from football following a third consecutive failure with Argentina at a major tournament.
Because unless something extraordinary happens in the next two years, Portugal will be an underdog at the 2018 World Cup and the 2020 European Championship, and if they are able to conquer either of these elite trophies, it will not be because of a Ronaldo, but mostly because of a William Carvalho or a Renato Sanches.
Live Stream and Kick-off time
The match will be live from 00:30 IST (Monday), 20:00 BST (Sunday). Watch live streaming of Portugal vs France on SonyLIV. Follow Portugal vs France, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India, Fox Sports in the USA and Premier Sports in the UK. The match will be played at the Stade de France in Paris.
Real Madrid defender Pepe, who missed the semi-final due to suspension, is expected to return to Fernando Santos’ starting lineup for the final instead of either Jose Fonte or Bruno Alves. The same goes with William Carvalho, who will also return after serving his suspension, and it will be interesting to note if Danilo will be dropped for the Sporting Lisbon man.
Didier Deschamps is expected to have a fully-fit squad to select from and he will be mulling over the selection of the third midfielder in his side, with Moussa Sissoko deputising excellently in the absence of N'Golo Kante.
Portugal: Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Alves, Guerreiro; Sanches, Carvalho, Mario, Silva; Nani, Ronaldo
France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko, Griezmann, Payet; Giroud
Form guide (Most recent first)
Having drawn all of their group games, Portugal have improved as the tournament progressed and will be hoping that they can record one more victory against the hosts.
The hosts have been the best team of the tournament, especially in the attacking department, and have only drawn one of their games so far in the tournament. They will be looking to bank on the home support and record a memorable win.
Head to Head record
France have won their last 10 games against Portugal. Their overall record is W18, D1, L5.
Portugal last avoided defeat against the French in 1975, when they won a friendly 2-0 in Paris.
France's 10-game winning streak includes the three previous meetings at major tournaments, all of which came at the semi-final stage. Michel Platini hit a late winner as France won 3-2 in extra time at Euro 84, while Zinedine Zidane scored a golden goal (via a penalty) as the French won 2-1 at Euro 2000. And another Zidane spot-kick put France in the 2006 World Cup final with a 1-0 win.
The sides have met twice in friendlies in the last two years. Les Bleus won 2-1 at the Stade de France in October 2014 with goals from Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba (Ricardo Quaresma replied with a penalty), while Mathieu Valbuena's free-kick gave France a 1-0 victory in Lisbon last September.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to create history and avenge the loss against Greece in the final of Euro 2004. On the other hand, Didier Deschamps – who lead France to Euro 2000 triumph – will be looking to replicate it as a manager and has the arsenal to do that. We predict a 2-1 win for Portugal.