In their way stands France, which also had a mediocre group play performance, before heating up with wins against Ireland, Iceland and Germany.
Les Bleus have used the support of their home crowd to make the finals, and they’ll no doubt have a little crowd advantage tomorrow. Will this give them an unstoppable advantage, or does Portugal have enough strength to beat them?
Find out as we discuss the 2016 Euro Cup Final below, along with which team you should bet on.
Portugal vs France (3:00pm EST on July 10)
France -0.5 (+100)
Portugal +0.5 (-125)
Why Portugal Will Win
Portugal has reached the Euro Cup and World Cup semifinals in five of their last nine tries, making them the world’s most-consistent team in that span. They also have arguably the best player on the planet in Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite being a nation of under 11 million, Portugal has produced a football powerhouse. Unfortunately, they’ve failed to seal the deal in their deep Euro Cup and World Cup runs. Could this finally be the year that they atone for heartbreaks at the 2006 World Cup, and 2000 and ’04 Euro?
It’s a definite possibility, given that Fernando Santos has A Selecao playing their best football in a few years. One interesting thing about Portugal this time around is that they aren’t the flashy, offensive machine that we’ve seen in years’ past. Instead, they’re a gritty team that’s played tough defense and counted on every member of the squad in this tourney.
Portugal boasts a complete team with Ronaldo once again providing firepower. They lost to an underdog Greek team on their home soil in the 2004 Final. Now they have a real chance to spoil France’s odds of winning in Stade de France.
Why France Will Win
Didier Deschamps’ team has largely had a tougher road to the finals than Portugal. Tough matches against Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, and a Cinderella Iceland team has prepared them well for the final match. In Germany’s case, France has now denied them in the semifinals of both the European Championship and World Cup in recent years.
What’s impressive about France is that they seem to keep getting better after each round. As mentioned before, they weren’t particularly strong in group play against Romania, Albania and Switzerland. But they’ve since managed to play better in the elimination rounds, reaching a peak with their 2-0 victory over an injury riddled German team.
Make no mistake about it, though: France could’ve beaten this German team in full health the way that they’re playing now. After barely qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, the French have done a lot of improving over Deschamps. They can now show the world just how far they’ve come with a win in the finals.
Battle Between Stars: Ronaldo vs Griezmann
Ronaldo has won every award imaginable in his decorated football career, which is the result of hours spent getting the most out of his incredible talent. But the one thing that has alluded him all these years is a title in a major international tournament. Expect an inspired performance out of a player who rivals Lionel Messi to be the world’s best.
France has its own star in Antoine Griezmann, who has played magnificently at the 2016 Euro. Already with 6 goals, he’ll be trying to turn in one more superb performance to help France win on their home soil. Griezmann has consistently done well in each match, and, with the team around him, has a good chance to repeat his excellence against a strong Portugal team.
Prediction on Portugal vs France
With so many strong finishes since 2000, it feels like Portugal is due for a win. And with a tough defense behind an even better attack led by Ronaldo, it feels like this could be the time that they triumph. It won’t be easy, especially with how good Griezmann and co. are playing. But don’t be surprised if Portugal comes away with a victory.
Final Score Prediction: Portugal wins 2-1
Betting Advice: Not only does Portugal have a good chance to win this match, but they’re also offering great value on our GTBets’ moneyline at +330.