With less than a month before a summer of international football, Last Word on Football takes on the challenge of making UEFA Euro 2020 Group F predictions.
This is the sixth and final article in a series that will predict the outcome of all Euro 2020 groups. Containing hosts Hungary and Germany along with world champions France and European champions Portugal, it’s been labelled the ‘group of death’ for a reason.
Euro 2020 Group F Predictions
Hungary’s Chances Bleak Despite Packed Home Stadiums
Hungary impressively won their Nations League B group, but that is of little significance in a Euro group with teams who all performed well, or at least decently, in League A.
However, the Magyars have an ace up their sleeve in being the only Euro 2020 team with full stadium capacity. As a result, 67,215 spectators (mostly Hungarians) will cheer them on at the Puskás Aréna. Interestingly enough, a study conducted by the Institute of Labor Economics found that the absence of football fans did not negatively affect home advantage. In other words, Hungary’s performance might not improve despite their packed stadiums.
There are a few reasons why this study should be taken with a grain of salt in this context.
For one, the study was conducted all the way back in August and could thus potentially be outdated. Secondly, while it’s indicative of empty stadiums not negatively affecting home advantage, that doesn’t necessarily have to mean home teams won’t get a boost of a big home crowd after having been accustomed to playing in empty stadiums for several months.
France’s away record is impeccable, having won their eight most recent matches abroad.
This includes wins against Sweden, Croatia and Portugal. Speaking of whom, Portugal’s away record is a little shakier, recently dropping a 2-0 lead to a draw against Serbia. But it’s worth noting that a last-minute winner by Cristiano Ronaldo was wrongfully disallowed. Not to mention that one fixture is anecdotal. The Portuguese also reigned supreme against Sweden and Croatia in the Nations League.
Hungary’s stadium capacity makes them unpredictable. It’s possible they get a shock win against France or Portugal in Budapest, but it’s unlikely. What’s more probable is that Hungary’s home advantage merely mitigates the margin with which Le Bleus and A Seleção beat them.
And since Germany’s loss to North Macedonia likely was a (deserved) fluke, Hungary’s final group match in Munich against die Mannschaft will presumably spell the end of the Magyars tournament.
France Euro 2020 Group F Favourites
The French have a splendid away record, combined with Germany’s recent struggles, should grant Le Bleus a win against die Mannschaft, even in Munich. Not to mention Le Bleus are one of, if not the best teams in the world. The same is true when it comes to France’s match against Hungary in Budapest, but by an even greater margin.
Portugal and France are arguably evenly matched, despite the latters’ narrow Nations League win in Lisbon. But France’s slightly better consistency will likely grant them a higher point tally than Portugal.
Portugal to Clinch Second Place
Portugal should be favoured to beat Hungary, even though the task will be hard. Regardless, this is one of the strongest Portuguese sides of all time. Additionally, citing their superior Nations League campaign and start to World Cup qualifying, Portugal would be marginal favourites away against Germany. A German draw or win certainly is within the realm of possibility, though.
Germany Fortunate to Have Home Advantage
Germany did lose at home to North Macedonia, but that doesn’t mean they’ll succumb to Hungary in Munich. One match is too anecdotal. The German’s home record was respectable prior to that disaster. With wins against Iceland and a strong Ukrainian side. Their draws against Spain and especially Switzerland might seem poor at first glance, but they’re both better than Hungary and thus indicates that a German win against the Magyars is probable.
To read our predictions for other groups, click below.