Portugal vs France: Preview and Prediction

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Mbappe has got into dangerous positions but failed to be decisive in front of goal

Portugal and France will take on each other in a thrilling quarter-final tie of the UEFA Euro 2024 at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on Saturday from 12:30 AM IST. 

Both sides scraped through their respective Round of 16 clashes and will be keen to make their presence felt at what could be the last time Cristiano Ronaldo faces Kylian Mbappe in an international tournament.

Portugal under manager Roberto Martinez has flattered to deceive in the Euros so far, striking in the 92nd minute to beat Czechia 2-1, before dismantling Turkey 3-0 and losing 2-0 to Georgia in the group stage. 

They struggled to beat Slovenia in the pre-quarters and have looked disjointed and focused on individual performances. This was the first time that Ronaldo has failed to score in the group stages at the Euros since his debut in 2004 further underlining the Selecao’s scoring woes.

On the other hand, France has been extremely disciplined at the back which has led them to concede only 1 goal in their last 6 games across all competitions. They have been underwhelming to watch, winning just 1 of their 3 group stage games but they also have conceded the least goals in the tournament so far, kept the most clean sheets and had the most touches in the opposition box.

Current Form

The Selecao made it to the top of Group F with 6 points from 3 games. Portugal then defeated Slovenia on penalties in their last clash after failing to score in the allocated 90 minutes and extra time. 

Ronaldo missed a penalty in the 105th minute and broke down thinking he had cost his side the match. However, goalkeeper Diego Costa stepped up and saved all three Slovenian penalties to secure Portugal’s passage into the next round. In doing so,  Costa became the first male goalkeeper to ever save three penalties in a European Championship shootout.

France faced Belgium in the last round and eked out a 1-0 victory thanks to a heavily deflected Randal Kolo Muani strike. In the group stage, France beat Austria 1-0 thanks to a Maxmilian Wober own goal, drew 0-0 against Netherlands, and 1-1 against Poland in a game in which Mbappe scored from the spot. In the process, they were ranked second in Group D with 5 points from 3 games behind Austria who had 6 points from 3 matches. 

Head to Head Record

The two teams have faced each other 28 times, with France notching 19 wins and Portugal only having 6 victories to their name.

The last time these two sides faced each other was in UEFA Euro 2020, a game which ended in a 2-2 draw in Budapest. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace while Karim Benzema did the same for France.

Team News

For Portugal, no major injury concerns plague them as manager Roberto Martinez is expected to field an unchanged XI from the Slovenia clash. Joao Cancelo, Joao Conceicao, Pedro Neto, Ruben Neves, Joao Palhinha and Cristiano Ronaldo are all on 1 yellow card and could be suspended for the semi-final if their side makes it past France.

Didier Deschamps would have to fill a Rabiot-shaped hole in the middle of the park

For France, midfielder Adrien Rabiot is suspended for the tie as he has picked up his second yellow card in the tournament. Kingsley Coman could also be out as he has reportedly left the Les Blues camp on the occasion of his child’s birth. 

Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Aurelien Tchouameni are on the verge of suspension too if they pick up 1 more booking and France makes the cut for the semis.

Predicted Starting XIs

Portugal (3-1-4-2): Diogo Costa; Ruben Dias, Pepe, Goncalo Inacio; Vitinha; Joao Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Nuno Mendes; Rafael Leao, Cristiano Ronaldo

France (4-3-3): Mike Maignan; Jules Koundé, Dayot Upamecano, William Saliba, Theo Hernández; N’Golo Kanté, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Adrien Rabiot; Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembele


Having won only 2 of their last 9 UEFA Euro games within 90 minutes, it seems likely that Portugal will be pushing to take the game as deep as possible. However, given the fact that they struggled to get behind even Slovenia’s fullbacks, the task is cut out for Ronaldo and co. to crack open an extremely disciplined French defense. The Les Blues are definitely the favorites for this clash.