Euro Betting: Portugal vs Germany, 19 June
Group Stages | Group F | Munich
Their Euros So Far
As we’ve said on these pages, Group F is Euro 2020’s ‘Group of death.’ With Portugal, Germany, France, and Hungary, each team knows how vital it is to try to take points off one another. For Portugal in their opener, they left it extremely late against Hungary, but did so emphatically, with a 3-0 win.
By contrast, Germany had to labour to no avail against a very talented French side who are most people’s favourites for the tournament. That leaves this game against Portugal feeling pretty much, like a must-win match.
Once again, they won’t have it easy against the current European Champions, with Cristiano Ronaldo clearly inspired and hungry to add to his two-goal haul in Portugal’s first game as he pursues the record for most international goals ever scored by a footballer. Joachim Low’s team were full of effort against the French, but they lacked any sort of cutting edge in the final third. Something quite rare for German teams of times gone by.
In exciting young players like Kai Havertz, Joshua Kimmich, and Serge Gnabry, the Germans will be hoping they have enough talent to threaten the Portuguese opposition, and with experienced heads and world cup winners, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, and Mats Hummels, also the street-smarts to see them through to the knockout stages.
For Portugal, although they ended up beating Hungary by three goals, they will know they need to perform better against Germany than they did in their opening tie against Hungary. The Hungarians had the better of large parts of the game, had a late goal disallowed that would have put them ahead, and it was only a very fortunate deflection that opened the floodgates for Portugal to profit from.
On the plus-side, Cristiano Ronaldo is clearly tournament-ready with two goals in the opening game, as he chases down Ali Daei’s international goalscoring record of 109 goals to become the highest international goalscorer ever. And I’m sure the 4-time Ballon d’Or winner would back himself to close in on that record against top opposition like Germany. Even at the ‘tender’ age of 36.
Around their talisman, the Selecao also have a host of creative attacking players and leaders, like Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, and in their backline, Premier League Player of the Year, Ruben Dias and the evergreen, Pepe.
Like every game in the group, this one is a hard one to call.
Germany have won 10 of the 18 games between the two nations, whilst Portugal have won just 3. That Portuguese victory was back at Euro 2000, when Sergio Conceicao scored a hattrick to confirm the Mannschaft’s elimination from the tournament.
The most recent meeting was another big tournament match, in the 2014 World Cup, with Thomas Muller this time scoring a hattrick, and Mats Hummels the other, in a 4-0 win for Germany. The Germans went on to win the tournament, in a near-perfect world cup performance for the country.
The Germans also beat Portugal in the third-placed playoffs at the 2006 World Cup and the Euro 2008 quarter-finals. That solitary Euro 2000 victory remains Portugal’s only success in the last nine games against Germany.
So, will Portugal keep on track to retain their Euro title? Or will Germany make it a ‘Perfect 10’ games unbeaten against the Selecao?