Saturday, July 9, 2016

Euro 2016 - France hard to beat

I penned down at the start of the tournament that France have an enviable record when hosting a major championship; winners in the 1984 Euros and winners in the 1998 World Cup in Paris. So it very much looks a case of Never 2 without 3 for Les Bleus in this year's Euros. It is not just the historical aspect as much as the relative strength of this French team that makes me tilt the odds seriously in their favor.

They comprehensively beat the Germans in the semi-finals. Granted, German capatin Schweinsteiger changed the match by conceding a rather silly penalty in what seemed a very tight match. But the French looked solid and were playing at equal strength against their mighty opponents. Since the start of the tournament, they have displayed resolute energy, well-organized play and mental strength on their way to the final. With players like Griezmann, Pogba and Payet showing strong form and motivation, the French have an outstanding chance to lift the trophy.

Against them stands Ronaldo and the creative talents of Nani and Quaresma. This is most probably the last chance of these stars to make their mark and win something of significance at the international level. It would also be a first for Portugal, provider of so many great footballers over the years. No doubt that much of their chance will depend on Ronaldo. When he's on top form, he's the most lethal striker in football. I would say right now he's not 100% but is still capable of getting a goal if given the space. Most of the work for the French will be to successfully shut him down,

It seems to me that Les Bleus will be celebrating on Sunday. They are a superior team playing at home. Tactics could get Portugal to a penalty shootout where they would have a live chance but I don't think it will get that far. From what they have shown, France are good enough to make the difference in normal time.

To win Euro 2016: France


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