MX23RW : Sunday, October 25 05:53:10| >> :600:667782:667782:
Oct 11, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Stade Auguste Delaune
FranceFrance
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PortugalPortugal
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Dias (2')

Preview: France vs. Portugal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's UEFA Nations League clash between France and Portugal, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two teams with 100% records in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League will lock horns at the Stade de France on Sunday night as France face Portugal in Group 3 of League A.

France have beaten Sweden and Croatia in their two group matches thus far, while Portugal, who are the holders of the trophy, have overcome the same two opponents in the section.


Match preview

France's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring against Ukraine in an international friendly on October 7, 2020© Reuters

France opened their 2020-21 UEFA Nations League campaign with a 1-0 victory away to Sweden on September 5, with Kylian Mbappe coming up with the only goal of the contest in Solna.

Didier Deschamps's side then moved onto six points in the section courtesy of a 4-2 win over Croatia three days later, where Antoine Griezmann, Dayot Upamecano and Olivier Giroud were on the scoresheet.

The reigning world champions will be in confident mood ahead of Sunday's contest as they thumped Ukraine 7-1 in a friendly on Wednesday night, although Andriy Shevchenko's side were far from at full strength after a coronavirus outbreak which saw them lose a number of experienced players.

Les Bleus picked up seven points from their four matches against the Netherlands and Germany in the 2018-19 edition of this tournament but actually failed to advance, ultimately finishing second in the section.

Deschamps's side breezed through their Euro 2020 qualification campaign, though, winning eight of their 10 matches to finish at the summit, and they will certainly be a team to watch at next summer's tournament.

Portugal's Joao Felix celebrates scoring against Croatia alongside his teammates in the UEFA Nations League on September 5, 2020© Reuters

Portugal, meanwhile, will enter this weekend's contest off the back of a goalless draw with Spain on Wednesday night, with both teams struggling to make their mark during the international friendly.

Like France, Fernando Santos's side have picked up maximum points from their two Group 3 matches, beating Croatia 4-1 on September 5 before recording a 2-0 victory away to Sweden three days later.

A Selecao triumphed in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, beating Switzerland in the semi-finals of the tournament before recording a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final.

Portugal qualified for next summer's European Championships courtesy of a second-placed finish in Group B, meanwhile, and they are the defending European champions, having beaten holders France in the 2016 final.

Somewhat surprisingly, France have actually won 18 of the previous 25 international meetings between these two countries, with Portugal's victory at Euro 2016 their first over Les Bleus since 1975.

France Nations League form: DWWLWW
France form (all competitions): DWWWWW

Portugal Nations League form: DDWWWW
Portugal form (all competitions): LWWWWD


Team News

France's Antoine Griezmann in action against Sweden in the UEFA Nations League on September 5, 2020© Reuters

Deschamps rung the changes against Ukraine on Wednesday night, but the likes of Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Griezmann, Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante should be back in the XI for this match.

Hugo Lloris will also return between the sticks, while Lucas Hernandez could get the nod over Lucas Digne at left-back, with the hosts potentially lining up in a 4-3-1-2 formation.

Giroud became the second-highest scorer in France's history with a double against Ukraine - moving past Michel Platini in the process - and the Chelsea striker should retain his spot in the XI.

Clement Lenglet will be hoping to get the nod over Presnel Kimpembe and Upamecano at the back alongside Varane, while Corentin Tolisso could retain his position in the middle of the park.

As for Portugal, Santos will recall the likes of Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix and Bruno Fernandes to his starting XI following the goalless draw with Spain.

William Carvalho could also feature in central midfield ahead of Joao Moutinho, while Ruben Neves is also expected to drop out of the starting side for Danilo Pereira.

There are not expected to be too many surprises in the final third with Cristiano Ronaldo likely to be joined by Felix and Bernardo Silva as part of a front three.

Diogo Jota, who joined Liverpool over the summer, is also an option in attack, but the 23-year-old is expected to start on the bench alongside the likes of Andre Silva and Francisco Trincao.

France possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Lenglet, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba, Tolisso; Griezmann; Mbappe, Giroud

Portugal possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Cancelo, Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; Danilo, Carvalho, Fernandes; Ronaldo, Felix, Bernardo Silva


SM words green background

We say: France 2-2 Portugal

This has all of the makings of an excellent game between two top international teams. Both defences are sure to come under pressure during stages of the contest, but we are finding it very hard to separate the two sides. Neither manager would be too disappointed with a draw, and we are expecting a few goals here.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:417787:cQx

Who will win Sunday's UEFA Nations League clash between France and Portugal?

France
Draw
Portugal
France
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Portugal
0.0%
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France's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring against Ukraine in an international friendly on October 7, 2020
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