France have won their last two tournaments on home soil.
When it comes to major tournaments, France are just about unbeatable at home. Once again they are hosts of a major tournament and, as was the case the last two times, they are back in the final.
France last hosted the Euros in 1984 and when they did, Les Bleus rolled to the title. They won all five matches en route to being crowned European champs, out-scoring opponents 14-4. And when they hosted the 1998 World Cup, they out-scored opponents 15-2 as they once again won a title on home soil.
Basically, recent history says that when France host a tournament, they are going to win the title. That’s not good news for Portugal, who will face Les Bleus in Sunday’s Euro 2016 final.
For all the quips about the vulnerable France defense, they have only allowed more than one goal in a single match this tournament, and that came after they’d already gone 4-0 up against Iceland. Les Bleus may not look good at the back and they may give up chances, but they’re keeping the ball out (in part thanks to Hugo Lloris’ spectacular goalkeeping). All the while, they’ve scored at least two goals in all but one match and are averaging more than two goals per game.
History isn’t on Portugal’s side, nor is recent form. But Portugal have made a habit of bucking conventional wisdom in this tournament and Cristiano Ronaldo could put his country on his back again. Plus, if you go back to the 1938 World Cup and inaugural Euros in 1960, France fell on home soil. So there’s that, but there is also a clear favorite for this final. It’s France, and you can bet they will be prepared for another party on the Champs Elysees. Just like 1984 and 1998.