EURO 2020 Group F – Preview & Prediction

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FRANCE

Confirmed Squad

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba (Man Utd), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Best European Championship Finish: Winners (1984, 2000)

Analysis

The 2018 World Cup winners are in the midst of a golden era with a hoard of talent not only amongst their squad, but also on the periphery coming through the ranks, providing Didier Deschamps with a very welcome problem when to comes to selecting his EURO 2020 squad. In the end, Deschamps has turned to an old head by recalling forward Karim Benzema following an excellent season for Real Madrid. French fans will be looking forward to seeing Benzema link up with Kylian Mbappe in what could prove one of the most destructive attacking duos in the competitions. Newly crowned Champions League winner N’Golo Kante gives France defensive steel in midfielder, covering masses of ground and allowing central midfield partner Paul Pogba to roam forward and join the attack. Kante will be crucial for France in what has been dubbed the ‘group of death’ as he protects the French back four against the likes of Germany and Portugal. Ultimately, France are favourites to win EURO 2020 for a reason with world class players across not just their starting lineup, but their entire squad. Their last tasted defeat in a competitive match back in June 2019 and picked up four points against Group F rivals Portugal in the most recent UEFA Nations League group stages. In the battle between Hungary and the three giants, France’s all-round quality should shine through.

Expected Group Placing: 1st place

GERMANY

Confirmed Squad

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (Frankfurt)

Defenders: Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Christian Gunter (Freiburg), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Robin Koch (Leeds Utd), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Man City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Monchengladbach), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Thomas MUller (Bayern Munich), Kevin Volland (Monaco), Timo Werner (Chelsea)

Best European Championship Finish: Winners (1996), Winners as West Germany (1972, 1980)

Analysis

Three-time European Champions Germany are all set for their final major international tournament under the stewardship of Joachim Low, with the 2014 World Cup winner set to leave his post after 15 years come the end of EURO 2020. However, Germany are very much in a transition period and have struggled badly since their semi-final finish at EURO 2016. Low has recently attempted to change the way Germany play tactically, fielding three central defenders which led to a humiliating 1-2 defeat to North Macedonia. Die Mannschaft were also thrashed 6-0 by Spain last November in the UEFA Nations League and expectations are lower than you would normally expect for a German side heading into a European Championship. However, after previous freezing them out in favour of blooding younger players, Low has swallowed his pride and recalled both attacker Thomas Muller and defender Mats Hummels into his squad for EURO 2020. Both may play crucial roles for Germany in Group F, whilst Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka have formed an excellent central midfield partnership for Bayern Munich and it would be a surprise if they were not to rekindle that for their national side. More often than not, Germany shine come major tournament time and after failing to reach the 2018 World Cup knockout stage, they will be expected to bounce back with a vengeance. With home advantage in their three group games in addition to the emotion of Low’s final tournament, don’t write off this extremely dangerous outfit.

Expected Group Placing: 2nd place

HUNGARY

Confirmed Squad

Goalkeepers: Adam Bogdan (Ferencvaros), Denes Dibusz (Ferencvaros), Peter Gulacsi (RB Leipzig)

Defenders: Bendeguz Bolla (Fehervar), Endre Botka (Ferencvaros), Attila Fiola (Fehervar), Akos Kecskes (Lugano), Adam Lang (Omonia Nicosia), Gergo Lovrencsics (Ferencvaros), Loic Nego (Fehervar), Willi Orban (RB Leipzig), Attila Szalai (Fenerbahce)

Midfielders: Tamas Cseri (Mezokovesd), Daniel Gazdag (Philadelphia Union), Laszlo Kleinheisler (Osijek), Adam Nagy (Bristol City), Andras Schafer (Dunajská Streda), Dvid Siger (Ferencváros), Kevin Varga (Kasımpaşa), Roland Varga (MTK Budapest)

Forwards: Janos Hahn (Paks), Filip Holender (Partizan Belgrade), Nemanja Nikolic (Fehervar), Roland Sallai (Freiburg), Szabolcs Schön (FC Dallas), Adam Szalai (Mainz)

Best European Championship Finish: Third-place (1964)

Analysis

Hungary have a monumental task ahead of them avoid finishing rock bottom of Group F after qualifying for EURO 2020 following a dramatic 2-1 play-off victory over Iceland. With France, Germany and Portugal as opponents in the group stage Hungary are firm underdogs this summer, however from their perspective they have nothing to lose and this should allow them to play with no pressure on their shoulders, which could lead to them causing their Group F rivals some serious trouble. The biggest blow for Hungary is that they will have to do it without their talisman. Midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai has established himself as a key part of his country’s side and netted the winner for Hungary against Iceland. However, following an injury blighted season, the 20-year-old has not recovered to take part in EURO 2020. Without Szoboszlai, it’s difficult to see Hungary gaining much success going forward against teams such as France, Germany and Portugal without one of their most creative outlets. The brutal truth is that if Hungary avoid finishing fourth-place in Group F, it would be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament.

Expected Group Placing: 4th place

PORTUGAL

Confirmed Squad

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Rui PatrIcio (Wolves), Rui Silva (Granada)

Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Man City), Rúben Dias (Manchester City), Jose Fonte (LOSC Lille), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP), Pepe (Porto), Nelson Semedo (Wolves)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Real Betis), Danilo (PSG), Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Joao Moutinho (Wolves), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), Joao Palhinha (Sporting CP), Pote (Sporting CP), Renato Sanches (LOSC Lille), Bernardo Silva (Man City)

Forwards: Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Rafa Silva (Benfica)

Best European Championship Finish: Winners (2016)

Analysis

Defending European Champions Portugal have been dealt a very tough hand in a bid to defend their title, after being placed in Group F with the likes of France and Germany. However, Fernando Santos has the tools at his disposal to put up a serious fight, with one name in particular standing out. In Cristano Ronaldo, Portugal have the all-time highest goalscorer in the European Championship and with Ronaldo in form, having netted 36 times in all competitions for Juventus this season, this bodes well for Portugal. However, Portugal don’t just boast Ronaldo within their ranks in the superstar category, with Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes of Man Utd and Bernardo Silva from United’s local rivals Man City alongside centre-back Ruben Dias. Despite this however, results haven’t been easily forthcoming recently as Portugal failed to beat Group F rivals France in two attempts when the two sides clashed in the UEFA Nations League. They also won’t benefit from any sort of home advantage through the group stage and will travel to Munich to play Germany, which could prove crucial in what is expected to be a close contest. With that in mind, Portugal could be in for a tough Group F campaign, although with the four best third-place finishes going through to the knockout stage, they should still progress to the round of 16.

Expected Group Placing: 3rd place

Click here for our analysis of Group A

Click here for our analysis of Group B

Click here for our analysis of Group C

Click here for our analysis of Group D

Click here for our analysis of Group E

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