Euro 2020’s Group of Death is alive and kicking going into the final round of games

It was always likely that Euro 2020’s Group of Death would come come down to the final round of fixtures and that is exactly what we have in store tonight.

France are already through with four points from their two games so far in Group F but Germany, Portugal and Hungary are all still in with a shout of progressing to the last-16. 

England await the team who finishes second so there is plenty of interest elsewhere in a group that has provided plenty of excitement so far.

Here, Sportsmail looks at what has happened, how each team can progress, some stars of the show so far and picks who we think will go through.

Euro 2020's Group of Death concludes on Wednesday night with lots still to be decided

Euro 2020’s Group of Death concludes on Wednesday night with lots still to be decided

France are already through but Germany, Portugal and Hungary can all join them in the last-16

France are already through but Germany, Portugal and Hungary can all join them in the last-16

France are already through but Germany, Portugal and Hungary can all join them in the last-16

What has happened so far?

In round one, Portugal emerged from their clash with Hungary as 3-0 winners in Budapest but the scoreline was not reflective of how the 90 minutes played out.

The Hungarians, as they have been throughout the tournament, were resolute in defence and caused Portugal plenty of problems on the break.

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota missed a handful of chances as Portugal looked to be heading for a frustrating draw before Raphael Guerreiro’s deflected shot trickled into the corner to give Portugal the lead in the 84th minute.

Within eight minutes it was 3-0 and Portugal, the defending champions, had lift off at the tournament.

A Mats Hummels goal in Germany's opening game handed France a 1-0 victory in Munich

A Mats Hummels goal in Germany's opening game handed France a 1-0 victory in Munich

A Mats Hummels goal in Germany’s opening game handed France a 1-0 victory in Munich

France and Germany were pretty well matched in Munich with a Mats Hummels own goal in the first half enough for Kylian Mbappe and Co to take all three points.

Germany created plenty but just couldn’t force home an equaliser while Mbappe was denied a superb goal of his own by offside on the counter. 

The Germans made home advantage count in their second group game against Portugal, coming from a goal down to record an impressive win at the Allianz Arena. 

Ronaldo notched his third goal of the tournament after a superb piece of play from Jota to give Portugal the lead but Germany and their wing backs came roaring back.

Attila Fiola stunned France when he put Hungary ahead during their 1-1 draw in Budapest

Attila Fiola stunned France when he put Hungary ahead during their 1-1 draw in Budapest

Attila Fiola stunned France when he put Hungary ahead during their 1-1 draw in Budapest

Ruben Dias and Guerreiro both scored own goals within four minutes of each other before Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens both scored in the second half.

Jota pulled one back but Germany held on to give their campaign life.

Arguably the biggest shock in the tournament so far came in Budapest when Hungary valiantly earned a draw with France. Attila Fiola’s goal sparked chaos in the capacity crowd just before the break.

Antoine Griezmann got France on level terms in the 66th minute but Hungary held on for a superb point that has left the group with all to play for going into tonight’s matches. 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S FIXTURES 

Germany vs Hungary – 8pm, Munich

Portugal vs France – 8pm, Budapest 

How can each team go through?

On Wednesday night, France and Portugal go head-to-head in Budapest, while Germany play Hungary in Munich. Both games kick off at 8pm. 

France are already through but can secure their place as group winners with a win over Portugal or with just a draw if Germany fail to beat Hungary.

A win will take Germany through to the last-16 and so will a draw, as long as Portugal don’t beat France.

If Joachim Low’s side were to beat Hungary and France drop points against Portugal then they would clinch top spot. 

But third place is also possible for Die Mannschaft if they draw and France lose or if both Germany and Portugal lose.

A win over Hungary will take Germany through and so will a draw if Portugal don't beat France

A win over Hungary will take Germany through and so will a draw if Portugal don't beat France

A win over Hungary will take Germany through and so will a draw if Portugal don’t beat France

Hungary will finish second if they beat Germany and France are victorious against Portugal

Hungary will finish second if they beat Germany and France are victorious against Portugal

Hungary will finish second if they beat Germany and France are victorious against Portugal

Portugal will be through to the last-16 if they beat France. A draw is also good enough if Hungary manage a victory over Germany. Top spot would be Ronaldo’s if they beat France and Germany fail to beat Hungary. 

It will be a heroic effort if Hungary qualify but you would not bet against them after their two performances so far.

They will finish in second if they beat Germany and France emerge victorious against Portugal. Additionally, if they win and France lose, second-spot would go down to goal difference.

Should they beat Germany, while France vs Portugal ends in a draw, they could also qualify in third.

The winner of the group will play the third-place team from Group A, B or C, while the runner-up will take on England at Wembley on June 29.

Stars of the show so far

France: Kylian Mbappe – The Paris Saint-Germain forward is yet to find the back of the net at Euro 2020 but his performances in both games have been brilliant.

Mbappe’s pace, agility and dribbling skills are the perfect compliment to Karim Benzema and the duo have formed an impressive partnership at the top of the pitch.

The 22-year-old saw a superb effort against Germany ruled out for offside but his lung-busting runs from deep and the way he dribbles at speed caused them major problems all night.

He also had chances against Hungary but couldn’t find a way through their resolute defence. Expect Mbappe to come up with the goods sooner rather than later. 

Kylian Mbappe is yet to find the back of the net at the tournament but has been superb so far

Kylian Mbappe is yet to find the back of the net at the tournament but has been superb so far

Kylian Mbappe is yet to find the back of the net at the tournament but has been superb so far

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo – Ronaldo netted twice against Hungary to move beyond France’s Michel Platini as the record goalscorer at European Championship finals, taking his tally to 11. 

Just when you thought he had no records left to break, Ronaldo did it again. 

He followed that up with the opening goal of the game against Germany and, although his contribution to the team has not been its best so far, he’s still got three goals in two games and his influence on matches is still key.

Germany: Robin Gosens – It may seem strange to pick a left wing back as a key player but it just highlights the importance the Atalanta star has to Low’s system.

The Germans have played a 3-4-3 in both of their matches so far with Gosens on the left and Joshua Kimmich on the right. They were largely contained by France but Gosens, in particular, caused havoc against Portugal.

Time after time, Gosens was in acres of space on the left side and was always there as an option for a cross-field pass or cross to the back post. If not, he was in possession driving down the flank. 

He scored Germany’s fourth goal and was also excellent out of possession, forcing Portugal to withdraw Bernardo Silva at half-time of the game.

Robin Gosens has been superb at left wing back in Joachim Low's 3-4-3 system with Germany

Robin Gosens has been superb at left wing back in Joachim Low's 3-4-3 system with Germany

Robin Gosens has been superb at left wing back in Joachim Low’s 3-4-3 system with Germany

Hungary: Peter Gulacsi – With Hungary coming up against three of the tournament favourites, it was always going to be a busy group stage for their goalkeeper.

Fortunately they have one of the most reliable stoppers in European football with RB Leipzig’s Gulacsi playing well in both of their games so far.

Certainly one of the busiest goalkeepers in the tournament so far, Gulacsi made a number of crucial saves against France that helped keep Hungary in the game.

If they are to have any chance of progressing tonight, Gulacsi will need to be at the top of his game against the Germans. 

Who will progress? 

Despite Hungary’s valiant effort in getting that draw with France, the Germans will surely have too much for them in Munich.

Low’s side looked back to their best against Portugal and the wing backs allow them to have plenty of width – crucial against sides who like to sit deep – while filling the penalty area with bodies.

Expect the Germans to go through after a comfortable win that will leave Hungary out of the competition.

Portugal were stunned by Germany and a similar performance against France could cost them

Portugal were stunned by Germany and a similar performance against France could cost them

Portugal were stunned by Germany and a similar performance against France could cost them

France have looked out of sorts so far and you would never bet against a team with Ronaldo up front.

But Portugal’s defensive vulnerabilities look like they can be exposed by Mbappe, Griezmann and Benzema so the French look best set to win and the top group with seven points.

Defeat for Portugal would leave them in the mix for one of the last two third place spots in the round of 16 – after Switzerland the Czech Republic claimed the first two – but they look well set to progress from there.

Source link

Share

What do you think?

Comments

Leave a Reply

Jake Paul claims he WILL fight Canelo Alvarez for world title belts within FIVE YEARS

Paris Saint-Germain ‘set to make improved offer of £60m to Inter Milan for Achraf Hakimi’