Group F Analysis8th kesä 2016 |
UEFA Euro 2016 Group F consists of Portugal, Iceland, Hungary and Austria. Four very different teams, to say the least. Among these, Portugal is the clear favourite, but you should not take Austria for granted. Sure, they’ve had better days, but they’re actually one of the highest-ranking teams in Europe at the moment (if you believe FIFA). With David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic in mid-field, I do expect some top-notch performances from the Austrians, even though they are highly unlikely to win the Euro 2016. Portugal, on the other hand, is not the best team in the world either at the moment. Yes, they can boast from having Cristiano Ronaldo on their team, but one man is no army. The Portuguese national squad is quite old as well, with most players being in their early 30s. At the same time, there are plenty of teams with fresh, young talent out there – meaning that Portugal will have a hard time coping on the field.
Will Lars Lagerbäck’s Iceland surprise us?
Austria and Hungary are quite even teams, even though Austria is much higher ranked. None of them have particularly famous players, but that could actually do them good. I have seen plenty of national squads packed with talent who are unable to co-operate. The English team is a brilliant example. By the way, did you know that Austria and Hungary used to be the same country? Yes, the empire was even called “Austria-Hungary”. Now, it is my firm belief that one of these will finish second in Group F of this years´ UEFA Euro Championship. Why? Because Portugal is the strongest of these three, and Iceland will be a punching bag. This is the first time ever that the Icelandic national squad is playing an international tournament – whether it be the World Cup of European Championship. Hence, not much is expected of them, even though it will be fun to see Sigurdsson finally competing in a prestigious tournament with his countrymen. Maybe Iceland can provide us with some surprising fixtures? They did beat both the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Turkey in the Euro Qualification, as well as beating Greece in a friendly this year.