Hard to See Past France in Group of Death

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France, Germany and Portugal are the big fish in Group F for Euro 2020 but could Hungary be poised to spring a surprise?

Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann are part of a formidable French squad for Euro 2020.

Every major tournament has a dreaded ‘Group of Death’ and Group F looks to be the standout candidate at Euro 2020.

World champions France are tied with Germany as the 5/4 favourites to top the pool but it is by no means a two-horse race with 9/2 defending champions Portugal sure to fight to retain their prize.

With a chance that three could qualify for the last-16, as was the case with the Portuguese five years ago, it would also be foolish to rule out improving Hungary who topped that pool with the Selecao. While 40/1 in the Group Winner market places them as the firm outsiders, the improving Magyarok could be primed to cause an upset or two.

Les Bleus Eye Euros Revenge

France were deserved winners at World Cup 2018 but their coronation should really have come two years early. On home soil, they battled past the Germans in the semi-final in Marseille before decamping to Paris for what appeared an inevitable victory over Portugal.

However, the occasion beat them as much as their opponents and Eder’s extra-time strike broke hearts across l’Hexagone.

After a tournament of mixed results whilst trying to blow opponents away, Didier Deschamps was soon convinced that defence was the best form of attack in Russia. So it proved as the 52-year-old became only the third man to both captain and coach his country to global glory.

Les Bleus are 11/2 to win the tournament for a third time and look to have the edge on their group rivals. While Deschamps has been trying to install a more expansive edge, providing more freedom to Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe in recent months, don’t be surprised to see him veer back towards his blueprint in pursuit of glory.

Die Mannschaft Due a Performance

Germany were hit by the curse of the reigning champions as they crashed out in the opening round of Russia 2018 and despite subsequently providing odd moments of encouragement, there remain doubts as to whether Joachim Low is the right man to lead his country.

Low has been in the job for the best part of 15 years and needs to find some decent combinations, with both style and spirit lacking in his squad.

Their nadir, hopefully, came in November’s 6-0 Nations League defeat in Spain. However, despite being unbeaten in 11 heading into that match in Seville, the result was seen as a long time coming.

Die Mannschaft’s malaise makes them real candidates for an early exit, so setting the tone in their opener against France in Munich could be crucial. Germany are 29/20 outsiders for victory and having lost to Mexico first up in Russia, they know just how hard it can be to come back from an opening defeat.

Beware the Underdog

It seems strange positioning the holders as underdogs but Portugal have their doubters and will perhaps relish their status as outsiders. So much so that November’s 1-0 defeat to France is unlikely to have caused Fernando Santos too much pain.

The Selecao were less than impressive in winning the last Euros but will again be happy to bundle their way through and with a talent-rich squad, will believe they can go deep in the competition.

One of the few teams who will not play in their home country, the Portuguese open up against Hungary in Budapest on June 15 and are 5/7 to win. While the Iberians have won seven of the pair’s previous eight meetings, the odd one out carries some intrigue.

Magyarok Hungary for More

The pair played out a pulsating 3-3 draw in Lyon at Euro 2016 and the Hungarians, unbeaten in the group stages of that tournament, will be looking to cause more upsets with arguably a strong squad this summer.

Silky midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai is believed to have shunned the advances of clubs in England and Spain before signing with RB Leipzig from the start of this month. Meanwhile, new club colleague Willi Orban is a steadying influence at the back and captain Adam Szalai has enough miles on the clock to know what’s what in attack having spent the last decade in the Bundesliga.

Make no mistake, they may not be fancied against Portugal but don’t count Hungary out, with them 7/2 for an opening win and a repeat draw 14/5.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

The first choice in any quiz team, Jack is your man for stats, facts and information across a wide range of different sports. As well as a vast knowledge of football, he specialises in cycling, rugby and tennis amongst a number of other sports.

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