Portugal take on hosts France in Paris on Sunday as the final of EURO 2016 takes place.
[ MORE: Ronaldo vs. Greizmann ]
Plenty of familiar faces will be lining up at the Stade de France as Cristiano Ronaldo aims to lead Portugal to shock France. For the record, France is unbeaten in 18 tournament games on home soil, has won the last two major tournaments it has hosted (1984 Euros and 1998 World Cup) and has won its last 10 games against Portugal.
[ MORE: New PL kits for 2016-17 ]
With 13 players from Premier League clubs involved in Sunday’s showpiece final at the Stade de France, let’s take a look at who may start and how they’ve done so far this summer.
Jose Fonte (Southampton) – Saints’ captain and central defender has been ever present since the Round of 16 as Portugal have only conceded once in three games. Should have an epic battle with Olivier Giroud. He has been immense alongside Pepe and then Bruno Alves.
Cedric Soares (Southampton) – Like Fonte, Saints’ right back also came in for the Round of 16 clash after playing no part in the group stages and he’s been in the team ever since. Caught out on Poland’s goal but solid ever since.
Conclusion – Both Fonte and Cedric will start in Portugal’s back four. They have improved Portugal’s defense considerably after not starting any group games and Fonte in particular has been a beat in the center of defense, outwitting Mario Mandzukic, Robert Lewandowski and Gareth Bale.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) – Ever present throughout the tournament, Tottenham’s captain and goalkeeper also captains France. Superb vs. Germany Will he lift the trophy on Sunday?
Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace) – Yet to feature in the tournament, the former Marseille goalkeeper will be looking forward to life in England after joining Palace this summer.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) – A superb tournament from the Arsenal center back who has looked cool and calm despite having multiple CB partners. Classy.
Bacary Sagna (Manchester City) – Solid and steady at right back, Sagna has used all his experience to help France to the final.
Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City) – Bit-part player who was used briefly in the quarterfinal win over Iceland.
N'Golo Kante (Leicester City) – Started every game until he was suspended for the quarterfinal and was surprisingly left out of starting XI in semifinal. Bossed every game, as usual.
Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United) – Has yet to feature after being initially left off the final squad and then recalled due to injuries.
Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) – Started against Switzerland and came on late against Germany, the Palace midfielder hasn’t had much time to impress.
Dimitri Payet (West Ham United) – A fine tournament from Payet who has scored three goals including a screamer in the opener vs. Romania to win it late on. A bag of tricks, as always.
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) – Despite all of the critics and getting booed for missing several chances in the first game, he’s turned it around with three goals. Great partnership with Griezmann.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United) – Came on as sub in the first game and started the second vs. Albania but hooked off at half time. Hasn’t featured since.
Conclusion – Hugo Lloris will start in goal and captain France, while Koscielny and Sagna will start in defense. In midfield it is likely that Kante could slot back in to the starting lineup but Didier Deschamps will have a tough decision to make after Matuidi and Pogba played so well together. Payet and Giroud both have three goals each and will definitely start in a well-balance attack alongside Griezmann and Moussa Sissoko.