Filing France’s Euro 2016 semi-final win over Germany alongside the great smash and grab successes would probably rate as a little unfair on Didier Deschamps’ side.
For example, Les Bleus’ mustered six attempts on target en route to toppling the world champions, who made the opposition keeper work on one fewer instance, but the French were forced to absorb a tsunami of pressure before posting their 2-0 triumph.
Encouragingly for those with a vested interest in France winning the competition, however, it was a calibre of performance that proved they have the strength in all departments required to hoist the trophy.
Their mettle was tested against the Republic of Ireland, who took a half-time lead in their last-16 bout. The hosts reversed the deficit with a spirited second-half showing, refusing to crumble under intense pressure.
In the quarter finals, when the onus was on them to attack a grossly inferior Iceland side, they did so with aplomb, scoring five goals.
Germany posed a different question: could they defend like champions?
The answer was, of course, yes and having witnessed France overcome this variety of challenges, punters should be in little doubt as to how the final will pan out.
Win, Lose or Draw?
Judging from the breadth of quality they’ve exhibited throughout the tournament, France’s place in the St-Denis showpiece is undoubtedly deserved.
The same can’t necessarily be said of master pragmatists Portugal.
Their 2-0 semi-final win over Wales was, incredibly, their only victory posted inside 90 minutes across the competition to date.
Prior to the semi, they’d led matches for a grand total of 22 minutes.
Even against Wales, where they produced undoubtedly their strongest performance so far, their game plan was a simple one – pelt balls into the box for Cristiano Ronaldo to attack.
An unbelievable string of fortunate events saw them positioned safely on the simpler side of the knockout draw and they benefitted from the strongest team of the segment being eliminated by another rival.
Against a team as well rounded as France their luck has to expire.
To add further claim to this presupposition, the Seleccao have lost ten straight meetings with Les Bleus, twice in extra-time, and failed to score more than once in any of the last six (blanks were drawn in four of these).
Just once this summer have the hosts been unable to bag multiple goals (the final group game with Switzerland where qualification was already assured). Expect a comfortable win here.
Recommended bet: France (-1) to beat Portugal @ 11/4)
Unders is an absolute banker if proceedings comply with a long-running European Championship final trend.
Seven of the previous eight showpieces have seen fewer than three goals scored inside regulation time.
Spain snapped a sequence that would stand at eight straight had they not walloped Italy 4-0 four years ago, yet even then they doubled their goal haul in the final six minutes.
France have been involved with two unders finals in the timeframe in question, while Portugal have partaken in one.
Recommended bet: Under 2.5 goals & France win @ 12/5
Who’s Going To Score?
With six goals in his last five games, a run which made him the first player since Michele Platini to score more than five times in a single Euros, the punters’ choice is quite rightly Antoine Greizmann.
The near-guaranteed Golden Boot winner is quite rightly favourite across the goalscorer stakes, but still warrants a wager.
For Portugal, Nani rates as the pick of the bunch.
Of his three goals so far, two have been the first for Fernando Santos’ men, so if you’re going to back the former Manchester United forward, it should be to break the deadlock at 9/1.
Recommended bet: Griezmann to score & France to win @ 5/2
In just two games this tournament have France scored goals in the first half.
One was the obliteration of Iceland in the quarters, were four were chalked up before the break. The other was Griezmann’s stoppage-time penalty against Germany.
All their other goals came in the second 45, where Portugal have leaked three of their five of the competition so far.
Recommended bet: France to score more goals in the second half @ 29/20