Group F is probably one of the easier ones to get drawn in, and Portugal will fancy their chances of progressing through to the knockouts in a comfortable fashion. Hungary, Austria and Iceland make up the remainder of the teams who will more than likely be vying for the runners up spot.
They qualified with ease in the lead up to France and finished an impressive seven points clear of second placed Albania. They played England in a warm up and it was hard to rate their performance after being a man down very early on. They were also resting star man Cristiano Ronaldo who will surely play a pivotal role in Portugal’s whole tournament. As short as 2/5 to be the Portuguese top scorer Ronaldo will play a big part, but value can be found elsewhere in Nani getting the goals. He’s been playing well since his move to Fenerbahce and scores his fair share for the national side. Take the former United man to notch a few in the group stage and give us a good priced winner.
Austria line up as second favorites to win the group and they could well spring a surprise. They won Group G in qualification and at times were incredibly impressive scoring plenty of goals. Veteran Marco Janko scored the majority of their goals but the talisman is Barcelona’s David Alaba, who is often played further forward when at national level. He’s a fan favorite and has won player of the year award five years in a row, so you can see his importance to the side. Also in the squad is Stoke’s Marco Arnautovic who has been a revelation for the Premier League side this year. Along with plenty of others in the Bundesliga and other big domestic teams, Austria can shock their rivals and qualify for the knock outs as winners.
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Their first Euro championship since 1972, Bernd Storck’s side will enjoy their experience in France and will be glad to be in a group where they can record a few points. They contain loads of experience and will be hard to break down, looking for low scoring matches where they can nick a goal. Ex West Brom and Fulham player Zoltan Gera is one of the better known stars along with a very stubborn defence. Don’t expect too much in the way of pretty football, as the Hungarians will grind it out but eventually fall short.
A huge shock in the qualification process when they came through as runners up at the expense of Holland, they finished behind Czech Republic with a great defensive record to boast. A scattering of Icelandic players ply their trade in the bigger domestic leagues, including Gylfi Sigurdsson who had a great season for Swansea in the premier league. Another name that will get everyone’s attention is Eidur Gudjohnsem, who in 2013 retired from international football, but has returned with a recall for one last blast. They may find it hard getting out of the group, but in all three of their rivals they have a chance of a result or two. Take Sigurdsson to carry on his domestic form and top the goal scoring charts for his country.
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