Santos Expecting Stiff France Test

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Fernando Santos knows his Portugal side face a tough task ahead as they prepare to face world champions France at Euro 2020.

Fernando Santos and his Portugal stars face a big test against France.

Fernando Santos knows his Portugal side face a tough task trying to overcome world champions France in their Euro 2020 Group F finale in Budapest on Wednesday.

Portugal’s 4-2 defeat against Germany on Saturday, which followed an opening win over Hungary, means Santos’ men are not yet certain of making the last 16 but a draw against Les Bleus would be enough.

Portugal Need Positive Result

A second successive group defeat, though, would leave the reigning European champions relying on being one of the best third-place finishers and Portugal could yet finish bottom of Group F and be knocked out if they lose on Wednesday and Hungary stun Germany in Munich in the other game.

Santos is well aware just how difficult it will be against France, who are already through after beating Germany and being held by Hungary, but he hopes everything falls into place for his side.

He said: “The crucial element to the game is to balance the team. It’s not about the best or the worst. Every single team on Earth can be aggressive and supportive of one another. We know France will play like this.

“We need to fight more, we need to want it more and be more organised than they are. If we put our quality out there and they do the same it can swing either way.”

Ronaldo Remains the Main Man

Portugal can call on talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who already has three goals in the tournament, while Liverpool forward Diogo Jota is set to partner the Juventus star up front.

Ronaldo is just two goals from equalling the international record of 109 set by Iran’s Ali Daei, and it would be no surprise to see him maintain his relentless form and get on the scoresheet at the Puskas Arena – Ronaldo is 9/5 to score anytime.

In opposition, the man who many thought would be a contender for the Golden Boot at Euro 2020, Kylian Mbappe, also looks good value to score in Budapest, with the Paris Saint-Germain forward 23/10 to get off the mark in the tournament.

Goals Aplenty in Budapest

There have been plenty of low-scoring and cagey games in the competition but this clash should produce goals, considering what’s at stake and the relative firepower at both team’s disposal. As well as the aforementioned Ronaldo, Jota and Mbappe, France have Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema carrying a considerable threat.

The first four games in this group have featured a total 12 goals and Portugal have scored five in their two games. Backing over 2.5 in total seems attractive at 5/4.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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