Euro 2020 Group F Betting Preview: Odds, Best Bets, Model Predictions for France, Germany, Portugal & Hungary
Photo by Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: France stars Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Greizmann.
Euro 2020: Group F Odds
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When the European Championships expanded from 16 to 24 teams ahead of the 2016 competition, one of the criticisms of the move was that there would be fewer “groups of death” with more three or four high-quality sides going at it in the opening stage.
However, this edition of the soccer showcase has a clear group you absolutely don’t want to be in, though, and it’s Group F that’s loaded with star power.
France, the reigning World Cup champion, Portugal (the 2016 Euro winner) and 2014 World Cup titlist Germany are in this group and all have a legitimate shot to win the competition. All three nations have implied odds 10% or higher to lift the trophy next month in London.
This group gets underway on June 15 when Hungary hosts Portugal and Germany takes on France. The Hungarians are clear underdogs to advance, but do get two group games at home to try to level the playing field a bit.
Juggernaut France Favored to Win Euro Crown
France is the consensus favorite to win the tournament, but will be tested much more in the group stage than it was in the World Cup or last European championship.
The French have a plethora of attacking talent, buoyed by the return of Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) up top to replace striker Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) in the starting lineup. He’ll make the country even more dangerous on the attack, which will line up in a conservative diamond 4-4-2 formation of sorts.
Eight of the 11 starters from the World Cup final are expected to start again, but rotation will be a key given how many minutes their key players have played for their domestic clubs.
France will start four natural center backs with Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich) on the right; Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich) on the left; Raphael Varane (Real Madrid); and, Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain) in the middle. That’s three of the same four from the 2018 squad, with Kimpembe replacing Samuel Umtiti.
— French Team ⭐⭐ (@FrenchTeam) May 18, 2021
The midfield is anchored by the pairing of N’Golo Kanté, fresh off his dominant performance in the Champions League final for Chelsea and Paul Pogba of Manchester United. The French don’t have a lot of midfield depth, but Adrien Rabiot (Juventus) is the third expected starter, replacing Blaise Matuidi.
Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) is a nailed at the point of the diamond, with the pace and quality of Kylian Mbappé (PSG) and the experienced Benzema up top for Les Bleus.
France scored lots of goals against Croatia and Argentina at the last World Cup, because of individual quality of Griezmann and Mbappé, but it’s absolutely a defense-first team under manager Didier Deschamps. The French are difficult to break down, they’re excellent on set pieces and cruised through qualifying.
Things could go wrong for them if Kanté or Pogba pick up an injury, but otherwise, it’s hard to see what derails France besides the normal, single-elimination variance of a knockout tournament.
Ronaldo, Portugal Could Upset Group F Apple Cart
I’m invested in Portugal to win this tournament, because unlike 2016 when it was absurdly lucky and captured the title despite winning one game in regulation, it’s coming in with loads of talent at peak age.
The formula for winning in international football doesn’t usually start with the attack or the high press, like it does in club football. A solid defensive base, some good midfielders who can control a game and a striker are often enough to carry a team into the deeper stages of the tournament.
Portugal is anchored by the old, but still excellent with 38-year-old center back Pepe (Porto) leading the way. He’ll partner with Manchester City breakout star Rúben Dias (Manchester City) in defense. Portugal has the best fullback duo in the tournament via João Cancelo (Manchester City) on the right and Raphael Guerrero (Borussia Dortmund) on the left.
Both are solid going forward, while Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Diogo Jota (Liverpool) and Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) are as good of a front three as any in this tournament. Behind those them will be Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) pulling the strings and Rúben Neves (Wolves) in the central midfield.
This Portugal side has balance, upside and enough of a backbone to rely on in big knockout matches. The only concern would be the potential draw, where the group runner-up would see England in the round of 16.
However, if France and Portugal are safely through to the knockout stage ahead of their final group game, both could play rotated squads in the game.
Continue Fading Germany in Löw’s Swan Song
The German national team has fallen off from its prominence since winning the World Cup. It suffered a 2-0 defeat against France in the Euro semifinals. It was also eliminated in the group stage at the 2018 World Cup.
The nation also endured an embarrassing 6-0 defeat at the hands of Spain in the Nations League, plus a stunning loss to North Macedonia in its World Cup qualifying group.
This is the final international tournament for manager Joachim Löw, who will depart following the competition. Löw doesn’t have a set best 11, which is always a concern for a team in flux. He’s experimented with a back three to solve their defensive woes.
Löw could go to a 4-2-3-1 formation, with a defensive pairing of Antonio Rudiger and Mats Hummels in central defense. That’s probably his best bet after Niklas Sule and Robin Koch were embarrassed by Spain.
Löw has featured Atalanta left wing back Robin Gosens at left back and the midfield trio of Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), İlkay Gündoğan (Manchester City) and Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) is probably their best midfield group.
However, Löw then has to navigate his attackers with Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (Chelsea), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) and Leroy Sané (Bayern Munich) rotating in. Kevin Volland (Nice) and Kai Havertz (Chelsea) are additional attacking options, while Florian Neuhaus impressed for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Germany in recent months in the midfield.
Unlike the other teams in this group, the German defense is unsettled. Its midfield might lack enough defensive solidity. Its manager is on the way out. The talent is undeniable and Germany will still be a difficult out, but it’s easy to see how it loses its first two games to France and Portugal. Then, it would find itself on the outside looking in through the third-place tiebreakers.
A blend of three projections systems puts the Germans chances of advancing at 75% from this group. Given the +660 being offered (13.16%), that’s almost a 12% edge that they will bow out before the knockout stage.
Hungary & More Analysis
Hungary has some decent players, but ultimately doesn’t have nearly enough firepower to hang in this group. The squad has been a decent sleeper to advance in any other group, but it’ll be a heavy underdog in all three matchups, even the two games they’re playing on home soil.
I wouldn’t expect France vs. Portugal to feature a ton of goals, and I’ll be looking to play an under in that matchup, especially if we see rotated sides. It will depend on the situation and who needs what to qualify, but both teams’ styles contrast each other in ways that make for a cagey affair without a ton of scoring chances.
Best Bets for Group F:
- Portugal to win the tournament (+800 or better)
- Germany to not qualify for the knockout stage (+600 or better)
- France Pick’em (-125 or better) vs. Germany in the opening group game