After a two year break from International football, EURO 2016 is set to take center stage this off-season with a host of star players competing for silverware for their country in France.
With only three weeks left for Euro 2016, we take a look at how teams are placed in Group F and what can we expect from them ahead of this summer’s extravaganza.
24 teams who qualified for the finals have already been drawn in 6 groups and we at faceoffootball.com have tried to take a closer look at each group to determine the chances of every team to go all the way in the competition.
Today, we will take a closer look at Group F in our Euro 2016 Group F Preview, and what we might see in terms of qualification to the knockout stages and which players can set the tournament on fire from this group.
Euro 2016 GROUP F
Team: Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal
One of the weakest groups in the competition, Group F sees Portugal, Hungary, Austria and Iceland fight it out for the qualification to knockout rounds.
None of these teams have ever lifted the trophy over the years and this year, they have a great chance to take a first step from this relatively easy group.
Portugal will be favorites to top the pile but it will be interesting to see how the other teams fight it out come the end of the group stage.
Let us now take a closer look at each teams from Group F in our detailed Euro 2016 Group F Preview including the key men for all the teams in this group.
Having represented their nation just once before (back in 2008 as the co-hosts), The Wunderteams went crashing out of the group stage in the competition.
However, Marcel Koller, the coach has been impressive in his time with the squad and will hope to move one step further this time from Group F in France.
They made it to the group stage with a top of the group finish in the qualifiers winning 9 out of 10 games and will be high in confidence going into this competition.
Key Player – Marc Janko
With 7 goals from 9 games, Basel forward Marc Janko was a stand-out player for Austria in the qualifiers.
Though he has not been prolific in the domestic season, Janko is a natural finisher who has thrived on Koller’s style of play with the national squad.
He will surely have to play a huge role if Austria are to move into the knock-out stage of the competition for the first time.
Though Hungry were giants in the past, they have gone 30 long years before they could make it to a major tournament before qualifying for the EUROS this year.
Having made it to the group stage with a victory in the play-off’s, Hungary will surely hope to try and move out of the group stage and advance into the next stage of the competition.
The coach of the national team, Bernd Storck took charge of the team less than an year ago and if his style of play suits the players, they have a great chance at the competition in France.
Key Player – Balazs Dzsudzsak
Bursaspor mid-fielder Dzsudzsak has been an important player for the squad right from the qualifying stage of the competition.
He has played every minute of the campaign for Hungary and has been in good form even in the domestic season.
He is a true match-winner that can easily give Hungary a chance at qualification.
Making their debut in the finals of this competition, Iceland are in with a great shot to move on to the knock-out stage of the competition.
They qualified for the group-stage after winning 6 of their 10 games in the qualifiers and finishing as runners-up in Group A.
The duo of Lars Lagerbäck/Heimir Hallgrímsson have been in charge of the team for more than 5 years and will hope that they can go further than the group stage in their debut campaign.
Key Player – Gylfi Sigurdsson
Though he did not have the best of the seasons with Swansea City in the Premier League, Sigurdsson has been a constant presence in the Iceland squad since the start of the tournament.
He has 6 goals from 10 appearances for the national side and is an important part of the coach’s plans for the team in the competition.
If Sigurdsson can play at his best, Iceland have a great chance to move into the knock-out stage of the competition.
The only team to have lost a EURO final on home turf, Portugal are once again in the midst of the things in this year’s competition.
Having topped Group I in the qualifiers, Portugal are favorites to move into the next stage by topping Group F in the group stage and are outside favorites to go all the way.
Fernando Santos has a decent squad at his disposal and if he can get them to play as a team, Portugal can surely beat the best sides in the competition.
Key Player – Cristiano Ronaldo
The Real Madrid hit-man, Cristiano Ronaldo has single handedly been the reason for Portugal’s success over the last few year or more.
Having scored more than 50 goals yet again in the La Liga season, Ronaldo was on song in the qualifiers scoring 5 crucial goals for his side and will hope to be at his best for the tournament in France.
With someone like Ronaldo in the team, Portugal can surely believe that they can make great progress in the competition.
Key Match: Iceland vs Austria (June 22)
With Portugal expected to top Group F, Iceland and Austria will have a fighting chance of qualifying to the knockout rounds as best four third-placed teams (based on points) will also qualify for the newly introduced Round of 16 at Euro 2016 this year.