Reigning European champions Portugal must secure a positive result when they face already qualified France in Group F, if they hope to progress into the round of 16 and also maintain an impressive feat in their European Championship history
After a brilliant start to the tournament, following a 3-0 win against Hungary, the Portuguese lost 4-2 to Germany in their second group game.
As was the case in 2016, they now find themselves fighting to make one of the top two spots before the final matchday in the group of death.
If there is one thing that should serve as motivation for Portugal, it is the fact that they have never crashed out in the group stage of the Euros.
They have managed to get out of the preliminary rounds during their previous seven appearances at the European Championships.
For that not to happen, they must bring their A game when they take on France who would want to avenge the 2016 final defeat.
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Meanwhile, Portugal continue to cope without Joao Felix (hamstring) and Nuno Mendes (thigh), with the latter’s absence guaranteeing another start for Guerreiro at left-back despite his unfortunate own goal against Germany.
Manager Fernando Santos has refused to rule out changes to his starting lineup following their reality check against Portugal, with Rafa Silva and Renato Sanches the most likely candidates to benefit from some rotation.
As mentioned, Ronaldo has never scored against France, but breaking that duck here would see him net his 20th goal at a World Cup or Euros – surpassing Miroslav Klose and breaking yet another record in an illustrious career.
France introduced Ousmane Dembele 57 minutes in against Hungary, but the Barcelona attacker had to be withdrawn after suffering a knee injury and will now miss the remainder of the tournament.
Deschamps has no other injury or fitness concerns to work around, as Benjamin Pavard was controversially cleared to play against Hungary following his head injury in the opening-day success over Germany.
Lucas Hernandez should return at left-back after Lucas Digne was surprisingly given the nod last time out, and recent reports have claimed that Pavard and Adrien Rabiot could be at risk of losing their places as Jules Kounde and Corentin Tolisso push for starts.Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.