One of the highest-profile fixtures in the Nations League takes place at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on Saturday as world champions France visit European champions Portugal.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports.
Both sides have picked up 10 points from their four matches in Group 3 in League A, but Portugal are top of the group on goal difference.
These sides shared the points in a goalless draw at the Stade de France last month but with both teams eyeing the top spot on the log, we should be in for a thrilling contest.
UEFA Nations League
Saturday 14 November – 21:45
Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica
To Win Match
Portugal Win 31/20 | Draw 43/20 | France 7/4
After back-to-back scoreless draws against Spain (friendly) and France, Portugal returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Sweden in Lisbon last month, with Liverpool star Diogo Jota involved in all three goals, scoring a brace and assisting Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva.
Jota is the joint top scorer in Group A3 alongside Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku with three goals, while Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has two to his name. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is back in Fernando Santos’ squad after missing the win against Sweden due to Covid-19.
With Ronaldo available and the likes of Jota, Bernardo, Ruben Dias, Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix, the titleholders will be confident of beating Didier Deschamps’ team, especially after having the better goalscoring opportunities in France.
Following their 2-1 win over Croatia in Zagreb where Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann scored, France stretched their unbeaten run to 12 games and recorded their 10th victory. Les Bleus will be aiming to maintain their unbeaten record while they look to hand Portugal their first defeat of 2020.
Deschamps’ men, who reached the final of the last Euros and won the World Cup, fancy their chances of winning every time they step onto the field, but the likes of Mbappe, Griezmann, N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba have to all be at their best against Santos’ star-studded Portugal.
Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano’s exclusion from France’s squad raises eyebrows as many regard him as the best young centre-back in the world, but Deschamps has put his faith in Kurt Zouma whose been one of the standout defenders in the Premier League so far this season, keeping seven clean sheets for Chelsea in all competitions while scoring three goals.
Whoever Deschamps decides to play in defence will need to be rock-solid on Saturday as they come up against the most lethal attacker in the world, Ronaldo, as well as the in-form Jota and Bruno, who has five goals in seven games for Manchester United.
Verdict: Portugal (31/20)
I think it will be another tight contest like it was when these sides met last month, but with the game being played in Portugal, I’m backing the titleholders to end France’s unbeaten run.
Written by Chad Nagel for Hollywoodbets.