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Check history or form, France are huge favorites in the Euro final

France have won their last two tournaments on home soil.

Soccer Euro 2016 Germany France

French supporters celebrate France’s victory after the Euro 2016 semifinal soccer match between Germany and France.

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.

Also not good for Portugal: how good France have looked at this tournament. France are undefeated so far, having won two matches and drawn one in the group stage. They’ve followed it up with three straight wins in the knockout stages, including a 2-0 defeat of defending world champs Germany in the semifinals.
Soccer Euro 2016 Germany France 

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.

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