Portugal vs France will be one of the most-awaited clashes at the UEFA Nations League this weekend as Kylian Mbappe and Co. travel to Lisbon on November 15 to play the Cristiano Ronaldo-led side in the reverse Group C fixture.
After their last face-off at France’s Stade de France ended in a stalemate during the last international break, both Portugal and France sit atop their group with 10 points each after three wins from their four matches. Portugal, though, lead France on goal difference and this will be the right opportunity for the European giants to get some daylight between them in the points table.
While hosts Portugal will hold a home advantage over the world champions in this match, coach Fernando Santos will be wary of France’s domineering head-to-head record against them. Les Blues have won 18 of their last 26 clashes against Os Navegadores.
Portugal couldn’t have arrived at this fixture in a better state of mind as Fernando Santos saw his men demolishing Andorra 7-0 in the international friendly on November 12. Stars like Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Renato Sanches were all on the scoresheet for Portugal, although Santos is expected to shuffle his squad for the crunch fixture. The Portugal coach will be without veteran defender Pepe, who is still nursing his foot injury.
France, on the other hand, saw a second-string side losing 2-0 to Finland in midweek, which saw Kurt Zouma and Clement Lenglet’s central defensive pairing proving to be ineffective. With W Ben Yedder and Olivier Giroud leading the French attack, Didier Deschamps was obviously not expecting anything special, but the deep bench of France squad was seemingly exposed in the game. To make things worse, Deschamps will further be without full-back Benjamin Pavard, midfielder Nabil Fekir and defender Dayot Upamecano for the Portugal clash.
Portugal (4-3-3): Rui Patricio(GK), Joao Cancelo, Ruben Semedo, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Danilo Pereira, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, William Carvalho, Cristiano Ronaldo (C), Joao Felix
France (4-3-2-1): Hugo Lloris (GK)(C), Lucas Hernandez, Clement Lenglet, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, Corentin Tolisso, Steven N’Zonzi, Adrien Rabiot, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial
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