Euro 2016 Group F preview: Ronaldo and Portugal to shine, Austria can spring surprise
Lee Gormley | June 7, 2016
Euro 2016 Group F preview
Coral’s analysis of the six Euro 2016 groups have come to a conclusion as we now preview the final standings, in which Portugal enter as firm favourites to dominate, while Austria, Iceland and Hungary will look to make an impact.
So read on for a full overview of a fascinating Group F…
History between teams
Portugal will take to Group F as clear front runners to emerge top of the pile and they are 4/1 with Coral to secure a maximum nine points from proceedings, though they could face a challenge from Austria, with both nations holding a close head-to-head record.
The two main contenders for group supremacy have met on 10 occasions in their history, with the Portuguese prevailing just twice and Austria emerging victorious in three outings, while five draws have been played out.
Iceland created national history by reaching Euro 2016, with this set to be their first ever major international tournament appearance, but they do possess a solid squad which could cause a few surprises in France, headlined by Swansea City playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson and all-time scorer Eidur Gudjohnsen.
The Icelandic nation have met Portugal twice before and lost both encounters, while they have also failed to overcome Austria in three previous matches. They have, however, beaten Hungary thrice, but lost seven of those clashes, and are 13/2 to spring a surprise by finishing atop their group.
Hungary enter proceedings as the outsiders to have an influence on their group, and they have collided with their upcoming rivals Austria an incredible 137 times in their history, edging their head-to-heads with 66 wins to 40.
History doesn’t bode well for them in meetings with Portugal though, having tasted defeat in all 10 match-ups, though they are 6/5 to secure an unexpected progression.
Tiago Mendes’ long-term injury saw him miss out for the Portuguese, while full back Fabio Coentrao also joined him on the sidelines, and Iceland also have fitness concerns over Sigurdsson, Aron Gunnarsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.
Hungary head coach Bernd Storck opted to include both Krisztian Nemeth and Tamas Priskin in his Euro roster, despite the pair still suffering from knocks, while Balazs Dzsudzsak also cemented his spot after returning from injury.
The Austrian outfit will miss Valentino Lazaro, with the 20-year-old prospect being left out of the final squad after underwhelming performances beforehand, but he should have a bright future nevertheless.
Previous tournament success
Portugal most notably reached the Euro 2004 final, a tournament which they hosted, but they were on the receiving end of a stunning upset as Greece rallied to success, despite the home country boasting the likes of Luis Figo, Deco and young Ronaldo.
Euro 2012 was a promising campaign for them too, as they went all the way to the semi-finals, where they were knocked out by eventual champions Spain on penalties. Meanwhile, as previously stated, Iceland are entering their maiden major tournament, though they came close to the 2014 World Cup, losing out in their qualifying play-off tie against Croatia.
Despite being a far from dominant force on the international stage of late, Hungary boast an impressive history, having finished runners-up in the 1938 and 1954 World Cups, as well as third in the 1964 European Championship.
Their unbeaten run of 31 games over four years in the 1950s is still the longest in international history, with Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas being the star name in the previous ‘Golden Team’.
Austria have featured at seven World Cups but their first appearance at a European finals only came at Euro 2008, but they qualified due to being co-hosts along with Switzerland.
Group F fixtures
Austria v Hungary, Tuesday June 14th, 17.00, ITV
Portugal v Iceland, Tuesday June 14th, 20.00, BBC1
Iceland v Hungary, Saturday June 18th, 17.00, BBC1
Portugal v Austria, Saturday June 18th, 20.00, BBC1
Hungary v Portugal, Wednesday June 22nd, 17.00, BBC1
Iceland v Austria, Wednesday June 22nd, 17.00, BBC Red Button