The European Championships are almost over; only two teams remain and they will now battle it out in the final of the competition on Friday night. Portugal have somehow managed to reach the showpiece event despite failing to inspire confidence throughout the entire competition. Cristiano Ronaldo and co have been mediocre at best but are now on the verge of earning what would be widely regarded as one of the biggest shocks in European Championship history.
And that is because Fernando Santos’ men are about to face France. The hosts are incredibly strong on home soil and are searching for a third major title in as many major tournaments in France. They have plenty of talent throughout the squad and Didier Deschamps will be quietly confident of leading his men to victory against an average Portugal side. After all, France are stronger, more skilful and better equipped to win in a one-off encounter.
As of July 9th, France are 11/10 to win the match inside the scheduled 90 minutes – and plenty of 888sport punters will fancy Deschamps’ men to do just that. They have won all three of their knockout fixtures in that timeframe and Les Bleus will be looking to get the job done in style. The likes of Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet and Olivier Giroud have been scoring goals for fun this summer and France’s high-octane offense could prosper against Portugal’s suspect and leaky defence.
In fact, these three men are now battling it out for the Golden Boot award. After Griezmann’s brace in the semi-final victory over Germany, the Atletico Madrid man is on the verge of securing the accolade but a goal in Sunday’s final would guarantee this individual award. At the time of writing, Griezmann is priced at 33/20 to score while those looking to back the youngster to score in a French victory can get an enticing 13/5 on this.
But it would be foolish to dismiss Portugal completely – and that is because they have Real Madrid star and three-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Without a shadow of a doubt, Ronaldo is the only world class player in the Portuguese squad and Fernando Santos’ men will be relying on him to do the business on Sunday evening. Ronaldo performed admirably in the semi-final and was a huge goal threat; and you can back him at 11/1 to net from outside the penalty area in the showpiece event.
If nothing else, Ronaldo will be eager to impress and lead his nation to glory on the big stage. He has never really managed to inspire Portugal at a major international tournament but this is his opportunity to guide Santos’ men to the title. However, Ronaldo tends to self-combust under pressure and he could get himself into bother with the referee if he gets too worked up. As of July 9th, Ronaldo is 7/1 to get booked and be on the losing team; and this could be a tempting bet for those who fancy France but want more value.
For those who like special bets, 888sport are offering punters 4/1 on a goal to be scored in each half and five or more corners in each half. Considering the array of attacking talent on show, this could well be worth a small wager – especially as both sides will be desperate to snatch the opening goal of the game in the first half. If Portugal come out and bring the game to France, this has a fantastic chance of coming in.
If they play at their very best, Portugal have a chance. However, France should be too strong in this one. They simply have too much class, too much experience and too much nous; and that is why Deschamps’ side will emerge victorious. I fancy France to win the title and will be backing them to win 3-1 at 18/1 with 888sport.