Euro 2020 Group F Preview: France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal.
Group F of the Euro 2020 is considered the tournament’s “group of death” featuring the reigning World Cup champions, the reigning Euro champions, and the previous World Cup winner.
France returns eight of their starting XI and manager Didier Deschamps from the team that won the 2018 World Cup. Les Bleus will be playing in their 13th straight Euro championship. This golden generation began their ascent with a second-place finish in the 2016 Euro as the host nation. The French cruised through their qualification matches for this event.
Les Bleus are loaded with scoring options upfront. Kylian Mbappe had 34 goal involvements for Paris-Saint Germain this season after starring for the national team in the 2018 World Cup team as a 19-year-old. Antoine Griezemann remains a foundation, with the Barcelona star leading the team in big chances during the qualifying matches. Karim Benzema had 32 goal involvements for Real Madrid last season as he looks to play a significant role for the national team for the first time in his career. Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba patrol the midfield. Raphael Verane and Presnel Kimpembe will man the middle of the backline.
FIFA ranks France as the number two team in the world. The ELO ratings place them third. DraftKings listed France at +460 to win the tournament before the event started.
Portugal looks to defend their 2016 Euro championship with perhaps more core talent than the roster manager Fernando Santos had at his disposal at that time. The Seleccao lived on the edge that summer with only one victory in the 90 minute regulation time during their trek. They went on to the World Cup in 2018, where they lost in the round of 16. Portugal won the inaugural UEFA Nations League a year later.
Cristiano Ronaldo remains the face of the team. The 36-year-old Juventus star will be on penalty kicks and lead the Portuguese attack. Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, and Liverpool’s Diogo Jota will provide support. The 38-year-old Pepe and Manchester City’s rising star Ruben Dias will anchor the backline.
The Seleccao ranks fifth in the world by FIFA. The ELO ratings place them fifth. DraftKings listed Portugal at +800 to win the event at the start of the tournament.
Germany continues to transition away from their 2014 World Cup, with this being the last hurrah for Joachim Low’s final tournament as the national team’s manager. Die Mannschaft reached the semifinals of the 2016 Euro, where they lost to France, 2-0. Despite being favorites to defend their World Cup title in 2018, the Germans failed to get out of the group stage. A 6-0 loss to Spain in the UEFA Nations League and an upset loss to North Macedonia in the World Cup qualifying matches since that disappointment in ’18 continue to ratchet up the concerns for this team.
There is plenty of talent on the roster with a foundation of Bayern Munich stars, including Serge Gnarby, Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane, Mats Hummels, and Manuel Neuer. Low received criticism for re-instating veteran forward Thomas Muller to the team in what will likely be his last event for the national team. Chelsea’s Timo Werner and Kai Havertz offer younger talent for Low to consider.
FIFA ranks Die Mannschaft 12th in the world. Germany ranks 10th in the ELO ratings. DraftKings listed them at +900 to win the tournament at the start of the event.
Hungary is the unfortunate fourth team to draw in this group. The Mighty Magyars will be playing in their second straight Euro after reading the round of 16 in 2016. They qualified for this event via the playoff with two late goals to defeat Iceland.
Manager Marco Rossi will not have Dominik Szboszlai with the RB Leipzig right back out with an injury. The roster still has an intriguing mix of talent and international experience. RB Leipzig center back Willi Orban leads the backline. RB Leipzig Peter Gulacsi is the goalkeeper.
FIFA ranks Hungary 37th in the world. The ELO ratings place them at 37th. DraftKings listed them at +10000 to win the tournament at the start of the event.