Euro 2016 hosts France face Portugal in Lisbon friendly encounter


Next summer’s Euro 2016 hosts France continue their preparations for the showpiece event on home turf with a mouth-watering friendly clash against Portugal, as Cristiano Ronaldo and company get ready for their upcoming qualifier with Albania.

The Real Madrid superstar will first skipper his nation against the French, who are 33/20 with Coral to triumph on their travels, before guiding Fernando Santos’ A Seleccao out against Albania in a Group I match-up.

Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus have been able to sit back and assess their rivals ahead of hosting the European competition next year, as they aim to go all the way in their own backyard, having faltered at the quarter-finals in the last two editions.

The visiting side for this latest friendly clash boast a supremely dominant record over Portugal, having incredibly won their last nine encounters, stretching back to 1978, but the hosts are 31/20 to halt that rampant run on their own patch.

Deschamps’ men rallied to a 2-1 friendly victory last October, following a quarter-final knock-out from the World Cup in Brazil at the hands of eventual champions Germany.

The hosts are without midfield maestro William Carvalho for the meeting, while Atletico Madrid engine Tiago is suspended in Lisbon, with Real full back Fabio Coentrao missing out due to a lack of game-time in Spain.

There are plenty of familiar faces, though, including none other than Portugal skipper Ronaldo, who will earn his 121st international cap, while his former Manchester United teammate Nani is expected to feature in attack too.

As for the travelling outfit, the Red Devils’ new £36m signing Anthony Martial will hope to make his international bow, after sealing a stunning switch from Monaco to Old Trafford on Deadline Day.

Martial will take his place in an otherwise familiar French set-up, with Tottenham stopper Hugo Lloris back in goal, while La Liga sharpshooters Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema should start up front.

With Portugal looking to extend their lead at the top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group I with a win over Albania next week, Santos’ men may put on a subdued showing, and a draw between these two nations is available at 2/1.

Betting tip: France to win @ 33/20

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