Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: France vs Portugal Preview

France vs Portugal Preview

Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo

Club football takes a break as competitive football continues in the form of the UEFA Nations League as European juggernauts, France and Portugal, go head-to-head this weekend at Paris’ iconic Stade de France. Les Bleus are the current world champions, while Portugal are the holders of the UEFA Nations League, while they are also the defending Euro champions, which took place in France back in 2016.

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UEFA Nations League A, Group 3
Sunday 11 October 
Stade de France

To Win
France 21/20
Draw 22/10
Portugal 11/4


France have started their Nations League campaign in the best possible way, claiming six points from their opening two encounters, beating Sweden 1-0 away, which was followed by a 4-2 victory over Croatia at home.

Since their World Cup triumph in Russia back in 2018, France have lost just twice in two years – in the Netherlands and in Turkey, enduring a two-year unbeaten run in France.

Didier Deschamps has a wealthy bunch of talent to choose from, and some of the best young defenders in the world. The likes of Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Presnel Kimpembe and Lucas Hernandez have all been called up, leaving no place for Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte.

Aged just 17 years old, Eduardo Camavinga has already made his debut for Les Bleus and is proving to live up to the hype suggesting that he is one of Europe’s hottest talents around. Houssem Aouar was called up to the last squad, but had to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19. The 22-year-old midfield maestro is still yet to make his debut for the national team.

Up front, Anthony Martial has been selected along with Olivier Giroud, who endured a purple patch with Chelsea towards the back end of last season, helping the Blues get over the line in their quest for UEFA Champions League football.

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Lille)

Defenders: Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Lucas Digne (Everton)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), Steven N’Zonzi (Rennes), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Houssem Aouar (Lyon)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Wissam Ben Yedder (AS Monaco), Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

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Portugal were my personal favourites for the Euro’s before the coronavirus pandemic, and since then, my opinion on them has not changed at all.

Fernando Santos has kept the perfect balance between youth and experience in every year of the pitch, most notably in attack where Cristiano Ronaldo will form one of the most frightening attacking trios in world football, alongside Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix.

In midfield, Bruno Fernandes and the Wolves duo, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, provide the perfect screening to the back four, while also offering plenty of creativity.

Since getting eliminated from the World Cup in 2018, Portugal have lost just once, going on to win the first edition of the UEFA Nations League.

Portugal, like France, sit on six points from their opening two matches and come into this game in a superb run of form, winning nine of their last six ties.

Portugal squad:

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Rui Patricio (Wolves), Rui Silva (Granada)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Nelson Semedo (Wolves), Jose Fonte (Lille), Pepe (FC Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Ruben Semedo (Olympiakos), Mario Rui (Napoli), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: Danilo Pereira (Paris Saint-Germain), Ruben Neves (Wolves), William Carvalho (Real Betis), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Renato Sanches (Lille), Joao Moutinho (Wolves), Sergio Oliveira (FC Porto)

Forwards: Daniel Podence (Wolves) Rafa Silva (Benfica), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Trincao (Barcelona), Joao Felix (Atl├ętico Madrid)

Prediction: Portugal Win/Draw (7/10)
The big problem for France, or any team after winning the World Cup, is how they can maintain their number one spot, whilst also freshening up the squad to be better equipped for future tournaments. As much as France haven’t done too badly in terms of their results, they haven’t looked convincing when achieving some of those victories. Portugal look sharp, Ronaldo has been on fire and Fernandes has taken his game to the next level. Very hard to see Portugal losing this one.

Written by Jesse Nagel