The action is getting hotter. The excitement is nearing its climax! What began last week with much fanfare will suddenly lead to heartbreak for a lot of teams, and exhilaration for others. One of the main points of contention among pundits and fans in the ongoing Euro 2020, is in Group F, the Group of Death. Defending champions Portugal, hosts Germany, world champions France, and rising star Hungary are already battling it out to make it through. After the first game, where each team put their best foot forward, we now know the potential of each team, their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Judging from their performances, it becomes a rather not too difficult task to predict who will make it through to the knockout stage, and who will get consumed in the group of death. But one thing is certain: whoever makes it through is likely to do exploits in the rest of the tournament.
From the first game, we learnt that France is one of the most comfortable sides in the Euros. Despite playing against a physical and tactically gifted German midfield composed of Muller, Kroos, Havertz, and Kimmich; the duo of Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante held their own and proved to the world why both of them have not lost a match in 27 games. France looked relaxed both on and off the ball but was equally dangerous on the counter with the pace of Mbappe and Pavard on both flanks causing Germany problems. It was one of such bursts of pace and switch of play that forced the lone goal against Germany but also produced two goals that were disallowed. To show the enormity of what France pulled off, the defeat of Germany was the first time Germany had lost an opening game in the history of the Euros. France was just too good. That is why leading Bookmakers betBonanza is predicting that France will finish on top of Group F with a 40% likelihood.
In the game between Portugal and Hungary, we learnt that while Portugal is a very resilient side, Hungary can hold on defensively for a long time, and frustrate the efforts of bigger teams. Coach Marco Rossi surprisingly played just 3 defenders and overloaded the midfield with 5 midfielders. They fought hard but by the 82nd minute, they opened up. This Hungary side looks like a team that would hold their composure only if they don’t concede an early goal. Hungary could pose problems for France and Germany, but will likely collapse after sustained pressure. That is why Germany have a 83% chance of beating Hungary and France has a 76% chance of beating Hungary. It took Portugal over 80 minutes to break the deadlock. We also saw that Christiano Ronaldo remains a solid force to reckon with when it comes to goal-scoring. At 36, he remains deadly in front of goal, and only needs a small chance to put the ball at the back of the net time and time again. That is why Ronaldo has a pretty good chance of winning the DEuro 2020 Golden Boot at 5.50 odds.
We learned that while France is still a strong side with one of the best midfields in the tourney, Germany could not be written off because it lost by an unfortunate own goal. They came out, pressed forward with the likes of Kroos and Kimmich trying to play through balls, and some good one-twos. Germany is no pushover, and definitely not an underdog. But whether or not they have what it takes to overcome the defending champions Portugal is another case. The game between Germany V Portugal will be exciting to watch, but Germany have a slight advantage with a 43% chance of winning the encounter.
The game between Portugal and France is one every footballer lover is waiting for. It’s going to be Kante V Bruno Fernandes. How will Pogba, Rabiot and Kante cope with the attacking prowess of Bernado Silva, Diogo Jota, Fernandes and Ronaldo? But France has a slight edge according to prediction experts at betBonanza, with a 41% chance of winning the encounter. Les Blues have just been very dominant for the last 2 years. Most of the players who won the world cup in 2018 are still playing together, and they seem to be getting better at it.
Finally, beyond the recent PR stunts or public spectre of rejecting drinks and recommending water done by Ronaldo and Pogba. Beyond the descent of a parachuter into the Munich stadium in the Germany v France game. After all the effort and all the action, it’s going to come down to one thing: only winners will qualify form the group of death, only goal scoring can produce wins, and only team work and clinical players who take their chances can produce goals.