Austria, Hungary, Iceland and Portugal close the counts of Euro 2016, a group of unknowns to the end.
The team of Fernando Santos starts as the big favorite to finish in 1st place but the biggest lack of capacity knowledge of the remaining teams does not make them have less quality. Three teams who staged excellent campaigns and showed quality to hinder the Portuguese task. They have nothing to lose in France.
Austria: Marcel Koller organized a well-tuned orchestra and led to Austria for the second time to a final phase of a Euro after a sensational campaign in the qualifying round.
At the sound of Beethoven, the Austrian team finished the group stage with 28 points, as result of 9 wins and 1 draw. 22 goals scored and only 5 conceded, a record that left Russia behind with 8 points difference.
The greatest asset of the Opera country together is the mixture in a certain amount of experience and irreverence. Almer, Fuchs and Janko are part of the lot of their thirties but in contrast there is Alaba, the company’s star, Hinteregger, Schopf, Wimmer and Sabitzer. Arnautovic cannot be ignored with his speed and cannon kick that can decide a match at any time.
XI (4-2-3-1): Almer, Klein, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Fuchs, Alaba, Baumgartlinger, Harnik, Junuzovic, Arnautovic and Janko.
Hungary: From the spa country comes a team that did not know the taste of the Euro for 30 years. Bernd Storck was the manager responsible for renewing Hungary in the big stages, finishing in 3rd place in the group stage and went through Norway in the play-offs with a 3-1.
The German coach wanted to place Hungary again in large stages of football with Euro 2020 in the horizon, but the success arrived earlier than expected and is due to the aggressive attack, fast and high pressure.
Balasz Dzsudzsák, 29 years old forward is the main reference of this set where there are more veterans who can also be decisive with their experience. We speak of Gera, 37 years old central midfielder and the ‘Pyjama Man’, better known by Kiraly, 40-year old keeper playing with training pants.
XI (4-3-3): Király; Fiola, Lang, Guzmics, Kádár, Nagy, Gera, Dzsudzsák, Kleinheisler, Németh and Szalai.
Iceland: The famous aurora borealis lit the way to the northern France. The team led by the duo Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson qualified unexpectedly in 2nd place behind Czech Republic with 20 points, leaving on the ground the aspirations of the Netherlands.
Sigurdsson is the voice of command of an organized team, competent and seeks to play pragmatically. Here you can see a more detailed analysis of Portugal’s first opponent in Euro 2016.
Aerial duels seem to be a key moment in the offensive maneuver of the team but the defense does not have fast centre backs with good relationship with ball. One of the key ‘handicaps’ from this team.
Portugal: Unlike in previous years, the Portuguese team won a place in the finals without having to walk with a calculator on their hand, despite the less positive start which led to the change of coach, finishing in 1st place with 21 points. Paulo Bento left the command and was replaced with Fernando Santos.
There were several debuts and experiences but we arrive in France with 23 that makes us believe that the title is possible.
With short time left for Portugal to start in the competition, there are many doubts in the starting eleven, starting with the right-back where the fight is between Cédric and Vieirinha passing in midfield with André Gomes, Adrien and Renato Sanches looking for a place and ending in front with uncertainty between Quaresma, Nani or Rafa. There is only one certainty. Ronaldo will be motivated and ready to show that it can help Portugal to its first major international achievement.
XI (4-4-2): Rui Patrício, Cédric, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Raphael Guerreiro, Danilo, João Moutinho, João Mário, André Gomes, Quaresma and Ronaldo.
Austria – Hungary 5pm (Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux)
Portugal – Iceland 8pm (Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne)
Iceland – Hungary 5pm (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille)
Portugal – Austria 8pm (Parc des Princes, Paris)
Hungary – Portugal 5pm (Parc OL, Lyon)
Iceland – Austria 5pm (Stade de France, Paris)