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Euro 2024 Quarter-Final Rematch: Can Ronaldo and Portugal Slay France Again?

Last Updated on July 3, 2024

Portugal and France are set to meet for the third time in three consecutive European Championships. At Euro 2020, they played to a draw in the group stages, and Portugal famously beat France 1-0 in the Euro 2016 final held in Paris. 

However, despite both teams being only three wins away from lifting the Euro 2024 trophy, neither has shown they have what it takes to go the distance. Portugal started the group stage strong with wins over the Czech Republic and Turkey but stumbled with a 2-0 loss to Georgia, even though the latter game featured a rotated lineup. 

In the last 16, Portugal struggled against Slovenia and only advanced through a dramatic penalty shootout, with Diogo Costa saving three penalties. France, on the other hand, was lackluster in their group stage, only topping Austria by an own goal and drawing with the Netherlands and Poland. 

Their narrow 1-0 victory over Belgium in the last 16 showcased their ongoing struggles. The quarter-final clash between Portugal and France will take place at 8 pm on Friday, July 5th, at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, promising a showdown of talent between Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe.

At Euro 2024, France has struggled to score, with only one goal from Mbappe, which came from a penalty. They haven’t managed to score from open play, and their other two goals were actually own goals by their opponents. 

Most of France’s games have been low-scoring, with the only exception being a 1-1 draw with Poland. Roberto Martinez likely won’t change his starting lineup for Portugal. Players like Diogo Jota, Francisco Conceicao, and Joao Felix seem more effective as substitutes. In midfield, Martinez will rely heavily on Vitinha and Joao Palhinha, especially against N’Golo Kante. 

For France, Adrien Rabiot will miss the game due to suspension, and Eduardo Camavinga is expected to replace him. If France goes with their usual three-man midfield, Ousmane Dembele might start on the bench, allowing a forward line of Marcus Thuram, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann. 

Historically, France has dominated this fixture, boasting 19 wins compared to Portugal’s six, with three draws. Notably, one of Portugal’s wins came in the Euro 2016 final against France.

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