World vs. European champions
Tue, 22/06/21, 15:00
France and returning Coman take on Portugal in final group game
Kingsley Coman only watched tournament favourites France’s surprise 1-1 draw with Hungary last Saturday from the stands, but for a very good reason. The 25-year-old had only just returned to the national team following the birth of his child, so coach Didier Deschamps afforded the new father a break. The Bayern winger is now available again for the final group game against Portugal on Wednesday (9pm CEST) and could well feature given that Ousmane Dembele left the camp on Monday with a knee injury.
France already into last 16
There was good news for the French on Monday as results elsewhere guaranteed their place in the knockout stage with a game to spare. Even if Les Bleus lose to Portugal and Germany beat Hungary on the final matchday in Group F, Coman & Co. will still be through to the round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams. That isn’t how the world champions want to do things, though. They know they will qualify as group winners if they beat the Portuguese.
Rerun of 2016 final
The match at Budapest’s Puskas Arena is rerun of the final of Euro 2016. World champions France and European champions Portugal are both filled with attacking talent, but the pair have struggled to show that in the most recent encounters between these European heavyweights. The final five years ago was won 1-0 in extra-time by Portugal, followed by a goalless draw and a 1-0 victory for France in the Nations League in autumn 2020. Hopefully, we’ll see Coman join that array of attackers on his return.