Friday, December 4, 2020

Prediction: Portugal vs France

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 13 Nov 2020

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Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a heavyweight showdown in this year’s Nations League on Saturday night, Portugal will welcome defending world champions France to Lisbon this weekend.

Portugal

Starting with the hosts, managing to keep the mood in their camp at a high with what quickly turned into a 7-0 romp against Andorra in a friendly contest earlier in the week, Portugal find themselves still holding top spot in Group 3. Lifting the inaugural Nations League trophy two years ago, the Reds have collected 10 points from their four appearances so far this season and are unbeaten across any competition over the past 12 months. Also managing to romp their way to next year’s delayed European Championships, Head Coach Fernando Santos will also be excited by his side’s continued displays at the back. Along with attacking talisman and skipper Cristiano Ronaldo managing to extend on his remarkable free-scoring run in midweek, Portugal have recorded five clean sheets on the bounce and have picked the ball out of their own net just once in any of their previous eight appearances.

Team News

After coming off the bench in midweek, skipper Cristiano Ronaldo will be reinstalled to Portugal’s starting XI this weekend.

Saturday’s hosts have no new injury or suspensions to deal with.

France

As for the visitors, making a string of alternations earlier in the week for a friendly showdown against Finland on home soil, few would have expected what was a dreadful night for the defending world champions. Despite still electing to field the likes of Paul Pogba, the Blues were hit wih a stunning 2-0 defeat in Paris, a result that certainly sent shockwaves across Europe. While Didier Deschamps’ men might have also managed to collect 10 points from their four Nations League showdowns this year, France have managed to win just one of their last three contests across all formats. Expected to recall a number of their biggest names in Lisbon this weekend, Saturday’s guests should take some solace from their continued displays on foreign soil. Since their shock defeat away at Turkey last year, the Blues have won each of their last five appearances on the road, including a 2-1 win in Croatia last month.

Team News

Picking up another ankle injury, Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman will miss Saturday’s matchup.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off in Paris last month, they played out a 0-0 stalemate.
  • Portugal have kept a clean sheet in their last five contests on the bounce and they have conceded just a single goal in any of their last eight outings.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in his last 10 matchups while away on international duties.
  • Since their defeat away in Turkey last year, France have won each of their last five contests on foreign soil.
  • Each of the last three meetings between Portugal and France have seen under 2.5 goals by the final whistle.

Conclusion

While we might have a heavyweight showdown on our hands out in Portugal this weekend, we could be in for another low-scoring encounter. Looking to cash in on a France outfit that were stunned by Finland in Paris earlier in the week, it should also be noted that Saturday’s hosts are enjoying a real purple patch at the back. Recording another clean sheet in their romp against Andorra in midweek, Portugal have conceded just a single strike across any format in their previous eight appearances. With the two nations playing out a 0-0 stalemate last month, we’re backing another low-scoring meeting in Lisbon.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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