France have stumbled through to the last eight of Euro 2024, with Les Bleus failing to top their group which led to being in the toughest half of the draw. Things were tight against Belgium before a late own goal swung things in favour of a defensively-minded team who are slight favourites to get the better of an unconvincing Portugal side.

Kylian Mbappe is the masked man after breaking his nose against Austria and the captain is clearly the danger man, while N’Golo Kante is an important cog in midfield, while the defence is fairly rock solid. The presence of William Saliba at the back is a reassuring one, although Portugal certainly have the players to test the favourites.

The big issue for manager Roberto Martinez is Cristiano Ronaldo. The forward has started all four of Portugal’s matches and his insistence on taking free-kicks and having attacks channelled through him is proving problematic. There is an abundance of quality around him, with Rafael Leao and Bernardo Silva operating either side of him.

This could be a low-scoring encounter and there will be a real battle in midfield, with Vitinha, Palhinha and Bruno Fernandes looking to wrest control of the game. It will be interesting to see how much protection Joao Cancelo is afforded when pitted against Mbappe and perhaps one goal will decide the outcome.


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