Euro 2020, Portugal vs France: Three key battles that could decide outcome of match
With four points on board, France are set to make it to the next round as one of the four best third-placed teams at the very least. As for Portugal, they have managed just three points with the only win against Hungary and were beaten 4-2 by Germany.
With the Germans now looking confident of a top-two finish as they face Hungary, Portugal and France have a lot riding on the final group-stage game in Budapest.
So the encounter is expected to be a high-profile one and here, we have taken a look at three key battles that could decide the outcome of Portugal vs France:
1. Nelson Semedo vs Kylian Mbappe
Didier Deschamp has deployed a 4-4-1-1 system so far in the Euros and is likely to maintain the same against Portugal. It will see superstar Kylian Mbappe play on the left-wing and square up against Portugal’s right-back Nelson Semedo.
France’s build-up play is usually out wide with dribblers being key to their attack. The PSG attacker hence will look to cut in and play a little narrower and this is where Semedo will have to be on his toes and probably perform better than the previous two games.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Raphael Varane
No longer a winger in the side, Cristiano Ronaldo now plays mostly as a forward in Portugal’s 4-4-2 system partnered with Diogo Jota.
With four-goal involvement already, he is unsurprisingly the focal point of the Portugal attack. And with so much at stake, he will hope to get one over the defending world champions.
But the man who will be tasked with denying him is likely to be his former Real Madrid teammate Raphael Varane, who has had a decent campaign so far and has to be at his very best to keep the legendary Portuguese at bay.
3. Danilo Pereira vs Antoine Griezmann
The Barcelona attacker is likely to operate behind the two forwards, dropping deep to collect the ball and play between the lines to organize the attack.
Danilo Pereira will be the man responsible for tracking his runs and disrupting his impact in Portugal’s half. The defensive midfielder has not had a great campaign so far, but will fancy regaining his form once again against the World Champions.
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