Portugal vs. France – European Championship, June 23, 2021
The Group of Death was always going to be a fraught affair with the chance of some surprises. But, as we approach the final round of games at this stage, there is the very real possibility that reigning champions Portugal could be about to go home.
Defeat to France in Budapest on Wednesday would leave Portugal on three points – and that might not be enough to qualify as one of the best third-placed sides. Read on for my preview of the game and a Portugal vs. France betting pick.
The State of Play in Group F
The weekend’s draw between Hungary and France has really shaken up this group and set up two fascinating games on Wednesday. Portugal’s stunning defeat at the hands of Germany has put it in the role of catch-up, with France knowing a draw would be enough.
Is Portugal Going to Be Knocked Out of Euro 2020?
When Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the final three minutes of Portugal’s opening game against Hungary – just after Raphael Guerreiro had found the net – it seemed the holders had kicked into gear at Euro 2020. But now defeat to the current World champions could end its quest to retain the title at the very first hurdle.
Ronaldo became the all-time leading goal scorer at the European Championship with his brace in that first game. But, even with all the attacking talent at his disposal, head coach Fernando Santos has failed to get his players to gel in either game so far.
His players failed to put enough pressure on the ball in the capitulation to Germany, and he now has to get his players to perform to their full potential to overcome France somehow.
Will France Win the Group of Death?
France did what Portugal couldn’t do and came away from the Allianz Arena with three points against Germany. Didier Deschamps needed a Mats Hummels own goal to win the game, but it looked like it could still go up a few more gears as the tournament progresses.
A hostile home crowd made life difficult in the second group game against Hungary. The ensuing draw means that France is assured of at least third place – and, in all probability, a round of 16 berths whatever the result here. But the World champions will want to issue a statement of intent against Portugal.
Ousmane Dembele has withdrawn from the squad after injuring himself against Hungary, but everyone else will have only one result on their mind.
Latest Odds and My Betting Pick for Portugal vs. France
MyBookie has made France the favorite to win this final game and head into the round of 16 as group winners. That result would leave Portugal in danger of missing out completely.
It is the French players that have looked the more impressive so far, even in the draw against Hungary. Antoine Griezmann, in particular, looked very lively and wanted to be involved in defense and attack in Budapest and might be able to kick start Kylian Mbappe’s Euro 2020.
The young forward has yet to score at the tournament and could pick a very important game to get going if he finds the net against Portugal.
My pick here is France to win.