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Hot topic: What will happen in the final? #PORFRA

Our last two team reporters standing – France's David Crossan and Portugal's Joe Walker – debate Sunday's final with Paul Saffer and match reporter Tom Kell.

Cristiano Ronaldo shows the benefit of sit-ups
Cristiano Ronaldo shows the benefit of sit-ups ©AFP/Getty Images

Paul Saffer (@UEFAcomPaulS): Thanks for doing this, everyone. David, Joe – you've been living hand in glove with the teams for the last few weeks, how is the mood in the camps right now?

David Crossan, France team reporter (@UEFAcomDavidC): France are looking relaxed, though Blaise Matuidi did look tired yesterday after Thursday's Marseille heroics. As I said before the semi-final, the French are embracing the pressure of being hosts and the public support is growing all the time. The French players know this is their chance to make history.

Joseph Walker, Portugal team reporter (@UEFAcomJoeW): The mood in the Portuguese camp is a relaxed one. Lots of laughing, joking and the camaraderie is there for all to see. One word they have used these past four weeks is "belief". I think they firmly believed they were going to reach this point, no matter what anyone else felt, and they've gone and done it

Paul: Tom, was this the final you expected?

Tom Kell, match reporter (@UEFAcomTomK): I'd like to say yes but there's every chance there's a ridiculous pre-tournament prediction of mine out there somewhere. That neither Spain nor Germany are there could not have been foreseen. Portugal have surprised everyone, haven't they?

Paul: What have you made of your opponents from what you have seen, David and Joe – the team, not the other reporter?

David: Match schedule means I've not seen Joe at all ...

Joe: Haha! Yeah, David and I have been in the same hotel yet hardly seen each other. In terms of France, it has been hot and cold. Everyone is saying Portugal haven't been the most impressive side in the tournament in terms of style of play, results and opposition, but to tell you the truth – bar Germany – you can say the same about France. They've been excellent at times but the first-half against Ireland showed they're not invincible

David: Portugal's resolve has impressed me, even if their football has left a lot to be desired when it comes to excitement. Portugal v Croatia was the most disappointing game of the tournament compared to my pre-match hopes. Portugal did a professional job on Wales in the semi-finals, their draw against Iceland doesn't look all that bad in hindsight, and they won't be easy to beat.

Paul: What about you, Tom, you've seen both teams live. Neither came near to any of the games I covered.

Ronaldo exclusive: ‘France are the favourites’
Ronaldo exclusive: ‘France are the favourites’

Tom: I did see France, but that was the opening game which now feels like a lifetime ago. They were, considering the occasion, understandably not at their best that night – but Dimitri Payet's winner just underlined the fact they were going to be real contenders. They have too much individual quality not to be. Portugal looked tentative to start with against Wales but did a really good job in that second half.

One thing I would say both teams have done well is adapt as the tournament's gone on. Both coaches have changed things when needed – whether due to suspensions, injuries or form – and have hit on their best XIs at the right time.

David: Tom makes a good point. Both Portugal and France have shown that being flexible is key – and I'm not talking about Cristiano Ronaldo's sit-ups!

Paul: That's definitely been a feature of Portugal. When did you think – if you have – "here are potential champions", Joe?

Joe: At full-time against Wales! Well, once they beat Croatia you could see confidence growing and, with Poland and Wales in front of them, you did think they're in with a chance. Having said that, I don't think at any moment I've felt "they're going to win this".

Paul: No doubt our Greece reporter felt the same before playing, er, Portugal in 2004.

Joe: Yeah. I don't think they'd like to admit it but they are very much the Greece of this tournament. They even have a former Greece coach in charge.

David: But are they Griez-proof.

Tom: I loved that, Dave.

Paul: Does the fact Portugal haven't beaten France since a thing that is very old was very young, going to have any impact? You were at the Stade de France when they last met, Dave.

The last time: France v Portugal in 2014
The last time: France v Portugal in 2014

David: Yes, I was at the Stade de France but it feels like a very long time ago and, honestly, I think it has no relevance to tomorrow's clash.

Paul: That's no good, you're going to have to ramp it up more than that.

David: It was a ninth straight win against the Portuguese: Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba scored for France. I am a firm believer that France play better football without Benzema as he never struck the same understanding with Antoine Griezmann that Olivier Giroud has.

At the time the Portuguese were in crisis and starting to recall veterans like Ricardo Carvalho.

Joe: Ricardo Carvalho actually started this tournament as first choice, however now I think they've found a great blend of youth and experience. The likes of José Fonte and Pepe alongside Cédric and Guerreiro have complemented each other well and I think Santos knows what he is doing in terms of getting the right blend.

David: Deschamps praised Portugal's defensive triangle on Saturday.

Joe: Rightly so!

Paul: Pepe's been really good. I definitely thought he'd be missed against Wales, and he might have been if they'd had Aaron Ramsey.

David: The centre-halves aren't the most mobile, though, so I think they'll struggle against Griezmann – he of the Portuguese grandfather.

Paul: What might have been.

Joe: Kevin Gameiro too. Imagine!

David: Portugal have enough Frenchmen in their team already!

What will Blaise Matuidi think about at kick-off?
What will Blaise Matuidi think about at kick-off?

Paul: That said, in the multi-national world we live in, that could apply to a lot of players. Romania were actually the only team who could all trace their lineage back to the old country, as it were.

David: FACT!

Joe: I think if Portugal are to stand any chance, they need Pepe on top form and Ronaldo firing on all cylinders. Also, Griezmann could do with an off-night.

David: That's a lot of ifs, Joe.

Paul: Right, coming to the end here, as I can already hear them rehearsing the anthems. Firstly, is there one thing people watching the final might not know that they ought to?

Tom: Putting us on the spot there, Paul.

Paul: Yes, that's my job.

Joe: Portugal are – technically – the home team on Sunday. And also the Portuguese support here in France means the atmosphere won't be as partisan as you may have imagined.

David: Hugo Lloris doesn't think about lifting the trophy when he shaves in the morning – because he's not shaving at the moment. Kingsley Coman is scared of spiders. Anything else?

Tom: France haven't lost in their last 18 final tournament matches on home soil, dating back to defeat in the 1960 EURO third-place play-off which was exactly 56 years ago yesterday [9 July].

Joe: José Fonte had barely played a top-division game four years ago – he's about to start a EURO final.

David: Samuel Umtiti was the first France outfield player to make his debut at a major tournament since the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

Paul: Now THAT was a World Cup. Mine is that in all UEFA and FIFA tournaments – senior, youth, women, futsal – with 12 or 24 teams, 102 sides have gone through as best third-placed teams. However, Portugal would be the first to actually win the title.

Animated guide: France's road to the final
Animated guide: France's road to the final

Paul: Now what is your final prediction?

Tom: If France score inside 30 minutes, they'll win by two. If they don't, Portugal to do as they did against Wales and wrap it up in the second half. My podcast predictions have been so prescient that this no longer really qualifies as a prediction. It's basically fact.

David: I predict France to win 2-1 with Griezmann scoring both goals to Ronaldo's solitary effort. Griezmann will then go on to win the Ballon d'Or ending the, quite frankly tedious, Ronaldo-Messi duopoly.

Joe: France 2-0 – head. Portugal 1-0 aet – heart.

Paul: I'm sticking with my pre-tournament prediction, with France to win 3-0 and Payet scoring twice in the first half to officially become the new Zidane. There, it's out there now – enjoy the game.

WATCH DAVID AND JOE PREVIEW THE FINAL FROM STADE DE FRANCE

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