Preview: France vs Portugal

Tonight, the new European champions will be known as France will face Portugal in their bid to win the tournament on home soil for the second time.
 

Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line for France and Portugal in Paris
Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line for France and Portugal in Paris

Didier Deschamps' side will have the chance to match the triumph of Euro 1984, when Michel Platini scored a tournament record nine goals on route to lifting the trophy.

They face a Portuguese side looking to win their first major tournament, having lost 1-0 to Greece in their only other appearance in a European Championship final in 2004.

Portugal have lost their last ten meetings with France; however, Portuguese midfielder, Joao Mario believes that his side can cause a surprise in Paris.

"France are playing at home but they haven't shown their spectacular football," he said at a pre-match press conference. "We know we always lose to them but this will motivate us”.

Portugal are not playing spectacular football as well. In fact, they seemed to be heading towards an early exit after failing to win a game in the group stages. Furthermore, they needed extra time and penalties to beat Croatia and Poland. However, they seemed to group up much better in the semi-final match against Wales.

Both sides will be playing in the final after 2-0 wins in the semi-finals. Portugal managed to beat Wales, while the hosts produced a magnificent performance to beat Germany.

With players such as Griezmann who can make a difference at any moment, the French will start as favourites. However, in a press conference, Balise Matuidi stated that there are no favourites for such a match.

"I don't think there are favourites in a final. Portugal have had a great competition so far, and us as well. I think that since the Ireland game something has come together for us. We're playing better football.”

With regards to team news, Pepe is still doubtful for Portugal. Bruno Alves will probably replace him if he fails to recover on time. On the other hand, William Carvalho is expected to return, after missing the Wales game through suspension.

France will not have any concerns since Deschamps will have all the squad available for selection. The host nation named an unchanged team in consecutive games for the first time in their European Championship history in the semi-final, and Deschamps could name the same eleven again tonight.

The referee of this match will be Mark Clattenburg from England.

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