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Portugal will defend the European title on the “Group of Death” of EURO
- Updated: 6th December 2019
That’s right, the reactions of Fernando Santos, Didier Deschamps and Joachim Low clearly mirrored the feeling that most of the participants felt after the draw of EURO 2020’s group stage. Portugal, France and Germany are all on Group F and they promise to give us very high-profile matches still during the first stage of the competition.
New UEFA criterion have switched things up…
Normally, and for several decades, the draw for a European Championship was defined according to the FIFA rankings of the teams that played on the final stages of the big competitions.
But that is a reality that changed for the 2020 edition, with the seeds being organized according to their qualification campaign and that has clearly allowed the 2nd and 5th best national teams in Europe in terms of the rankings to be drawn into the same group, joined by Germany that is currently in 15th place.
France (2nd on the FIFA Rankings) and Portugal (7th) were the finalists of the last edition of the European championship and they could hardly be drawn into the same group in normal circumstances, but UEFA decided to “mix things up” a little, which ended up resulting on a true “group of death” in comparison to other groups that have very little quality.
As an example, Italy will have Switzerland, Wales and Turkey in Group A, while Belgium will face off against Denmark, Finland and Russia on clearly accessible groups that give them a smooth start for a nice campaign.
Belgium even jumped to the 2nd place on the list of favourites to win the EURO 2020 at 6.10 on 1xbet, only behind a fierce England (5.20) that will have to face Croatia, Czech Republic and another team that will still come out of the qualification playoffs.
France is concerning…
Yes, our recent memory might tell us that the Portuguese have beaten the French side on the final of EURO 2016 in Paris.
However, the historical record between the two teams is clearly favoured towards the French rather than the Portuguese side with several painful eliminations on advanced stages of the competition.
In 2002 and 2006 they were eliminated from the European Championship by the French, something that had already happened in the EURO 1984, which means their record is clearly negative against the current world champions that, besides that historical advantage, still count with a really luxurious roster.
As for the Germans, that are going through a renewal of their roster, they are trying to return to their pace of international accomplishments after the title in the 2014 World Cup.
The #EURO2020 groups have been drawn! 😍
Which matches are you excited for? pic.twitter.com/CU7SvtNAXq
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) November 30, 2019
With Joachim Low still in charge of the “Die Mannschaft”, the German side also has a clear historical advantage over Portugal, with the last meeting between the two sides on the final stage of an important competition ending with a 4-0 favouring the Germans in that same 2014 World Cup.
Yes, they have the good memory of having beaten Germany on EURO 2002 by 3-0 on a match that sentenced the elimination of the Germans from the competition, but that was an exception that confirms the rule, because the Germans have won the 4 following encounters since then – 2006 and 2014 World Cup and 2008 and 2012 EURO’s.
Germany is currently priced at 9.10 on Bet365 to recover the European title that has been escaping them since 1996 in England.
Portugal will have quite a different path this time…
If in 2016 the European title campaign started with serious difficulties, with Portugal advancing on a weak group with Iceland, Austria and Hungary after getting 3 draws, but the same thing will probably not happen in 2020 because the kind of competition will be completely different.
Back then, Portugal was standing out as the favourite of their group and now they will only be the 3rd biggest favourite, which means there is less responsibility on their shoulders, although their natural will of defending the title can be a trump card for them.
Fancy a summer trip? 🤔
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) November 30, 2019
Without knowing who will be the 4th element of Group F of the European Championship, it seems perfectly clear that the debut match of Portugal will be decisive taking into consideration that they will precisely be facing the team that comes out alive of the playoffs.
And in case Fernando Santos’ side manages to start their campaign with 3 points, it is likely that they can then approach the remaining matches against Germany and France with more tranquility and pragmatism.
Portugal are the current title holders, but they are only in 8th place of the contenders’ list, with high odds of 16.50 on Bet365, something that has gotten worse after this difficult draw that will put the Portuguese side in check.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva are the stars of a relatively compact team that will need to be at the highest level to avenge on the great competition at the end of the season 6 months from now.