Euro 2020: Looking at Germany’s Group Stage Opponents

Perennial tournament favourites, Germany go into Euro 2020 quietly confident of adding to their trophy cabinet. 

?Germany successfully navigated a tricky Group C in qualifying, finishing top – ahead of Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Belarus and Estonia. 

In what was a steady qualifying campaign, Germany won seven of their eight fixtures and lost once. Their standout performances came against the Netherlands, with one win and one loss – both in spectacular fashion. 

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They beat the Oranje 3-2 in Amsterdam with a last-minute winner from Nico Schulz but lost the return fixture 4-2. 

Die Mannschaft have been drawn in the tournament’s ?group of death alongside France,  Portugal and play-off winner of Romania, Iceland, Hungary and Bulgaria. 

Here’s what they will be up against in Group F this June.


France

France v Croatia FIFA World Cup 2018 Final

?The current World Cup champions need no introduction. This side is brimming with quality all over the pitch and boasts the game’s next megastar, ?Kylian Mbappe. Les Bleus qualified from Group H at a canter, finishing top having won eight of their ten games. 

Turkey proved to be a bogey side for the French as Ay-Y?ld?zl?lar went unbeaten in two matches showing that Didier Deschamps’ side is fallible. The 2-0 loss in Turkey was particularly chastening as a full-strength French side went down with a whimper; goals coming from Dusseldorf’s Kaan Ayhan and Roma forward Cengiz Ünder. 

However, there’s an embarrassment of riches in this squad. Some of the players that will be left out of the French squad would comfortably make most starting XIs across Europe. The recovery from loss of form and/or injury for Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, Manchester United’s (for now) Paul Pogba and Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann will be crucial this summer.

France’s standard formation and lineup:

(4-3-3) Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Lenglet, Hernández; Kante, Pogba, Matuidi; Mbappe, Giroud, Griezmann. 


Portugal 

UEFA EURO 2016 final - "Portugal v France"

?When you have both the holders of the World Cup and the Euros, it’s fair to say that you’ve been drawn in a ‘group of death’.

Portugal will probably start as outsiders to win the whole tournament, and judging by their poor qualification form, it’s easy to see why. A Seleção finished second in a group that they should have topped which contained Ukraine, Serbia, Luxembourg and Lithuania. 

Ukraine proved to be a difficult opponent. Fernando Santos’ men couldn’t find a way through, drawing once and losing the other. A 2-1 loss in Kyiv ended their chances of finishing top as Ronaldo’s 700 career goal couldn’t overcome the two-goal deficit.

Don’t overlook this team as the last time they were underdogs, Eder’s extra-time winner in 2016 ensured Portugal won their first-ever major trophy in Paris. 

Portugal’s standard formation and lineup:

(4-3-3) Rui Patricio; Semedo, Pepe, Rúben Diaz, Guerreiro; Silva, João Moutinho, Fernandes; Guedes, Ronaldo, Joao Mario.


Play-Off Winner A

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The final spot has yet to be decided but it will be between Iceland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. Euro 2016’s surprise package Iceland will face Romania while Hungary will square off against Bulgaria.

What we do know – whoever makes it through will have an almighty task qualifying against this level of competition. 


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