The Euro 2016 competition is well underway and it is time to take a look at the last of the groups. Group F. In this group are Austria, Hungary, Iceland, and Portugal, and it’s hard to pick a clear favourite. Listen to the report by clicking below, while explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the bottom of the post.
Euro 2016 Preview – Group F
Top ranked in Europe Portugal are the bookies favourites to top this group, just above Austria, and with Christiano Ronaldo, CR7, in their ranks, they will always be a threat, particularly if they make it to the knock out stages. Last time out, they went to the semis, to be beaten by Spain who went on to be champions. They have a strong defence with Carvalho, Pepe and Alves, but they will rely on CR7 to provide the magic.
Quietly confident The Austrians are many people’s dark horses for the tournament and as they are ranked 10th in the FIFA world rankings they can’t be dismissed. They are well organised and can be deadly on the break, with Arnautovic and Janko both a danger They qualified top of their group and will prove tricky opponents for all in group F.
Underdogs Hungary may struggle to get out of the group. It has been many years since the glory days of the Magic Magyars of the 1950sand this is the first time since 1986 that they have appeared in a major tournament. Their Habsburg derby agains Austria in the opener should be an intriguing tie. look out for Tamas Priskin, who could be a handful up front.
Minnows? Iceland have done amazingly well to get to the final stages of the competition. With a population of only 330,000, they are by far the smallest nation taking part, a true Euro minnow, and their cold, rugged country is not one usually associated with football. They will be many fans second team in this tournament and may be the surprise package in this group. Eidur Gudjohnsen, a veteran striker at 37, will be hoping his experience can help the Icelandic team progress.
This one really is too close to call. Portugal should top the group, but expect Austria to push them hard. Iceland could shock many by grabbing third, which would mean Hungary missing out.
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ranks: (in this context) team, squad
on the break: counter-attacking; attacking quickly from defence
tricky opponents: difficult/dangerous opposition
a handful: difficult to control; difficult to keep quiet
surprise package: a team that surprises a lot of people