In one of the most intriguing groups of this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament, we have an established favourite to top the group in the form of Portugal and three dark horses who are looking to spring a big surprise. Which of Austria, Hungary or Iceland can build on their impressive qualifying campaigns to make it through Group F remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure, this group won’t be a walk in the park for Cristiano Ronaldo and his team. Read on for our predictions and analysis as we give our betting tips for what might transpire in this group, and check out our betting odds comparison for the best prices on the group matches, group winner and other betting markets.

As mentioned, Portugal are the favourites to finish at the top of Group F in the Euros this summer, priced at best betting odds of evens with Coral. But they have done little in recent years to give us much confidence that they will take this group by storm. You could, of course, put their home loss to Albania in their opening qualifying match down as an anomaly given that Fernando Santos’s men won their other seven matches in the five-team Group I. But further investigation shows that they never took a team apart in those seven wins: every one of them came by a winning margin of a single goal.

When you throw in defeats in friendly matches against Bulgaria and – most alarmingly for Portuguese fans – Cape Verde, you have to question whether Portugal are the side who are best placed to finish atop this group in the summer. We think they most certainly are not. Aside from the undoubted quality that the exquisitely brilliant Ronaldo brings to the party, Portugal are ominously lacking in terms of match winners or even players who can positively affect matches. Their only five defenders in the most recent squads with more than 10 caps to their names are aged at least 30, and many of the players who have never really reached their potential (Nani, Danny and Eder) are still being relied upon. In short, we’re happy to oppose Portugal at this year’s Euros and we won’t go near backing them to win their group.

Instead, we think Austria could take this group by storm and really make a positive impact on the tournament as a whole. They cruised through qualifying as one of four unbeaten sides (England, Italy and, surprisingly, Romania being the other three), scoring 22 goals and conceding just five despite being in the same group as Sweden and Russia. Marcel Koller has at his disposal a young and energetic side that is technically adept and not afraid to put in a shift, as we saw when they hammered Sweden 4-1 away. They might have lost a couple of recent friendly matches, but Austria look fantastic value to us to top Group F at betting odds of 9/4 with Bet365. We’ll also be backing them to beat Portugal on 19th June at decent odds.

Of the other two sides, either could steal a march on Portugal and claim second spot, but we predict it will be Iceland – who qualify for a major tournament for the first time – who will do the business. Priced at best betting odds of 3/1 with Sky Bet to finish second in the group and 6/5 with 888sport to qualify for the knockout stages, we’re all over them at such good value. What the Iceland squad lacks in big name stars, it makes up for in spirit and in joint coach Lars Lagerback they have a man who’s been there and seen it with Sweden.

Hungary, we predict, will therefore be battling it out with Portugal to avoid the wooden spoon, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Bernd Storck’s team snatched third spot and possibly progression to the next round. Another squad lacking household names but with oodles of tenacity, we’ll be backing Hungary to finish third in the group at nice betting odds of 12/5 with Boylesports.

Which leaves Ronaldo and co rock bottom of Group F in our predictions. While this might seem an unlikely turn of events, few predicted Spain wouldn’t make it out of the group at the last World Cup and backing Portugal to finish bottom here could bring in a tidy profit at huge odds of 12/1 with BetVictor.

As the Euros approach, be sure to consult our betting odds comparison tables for the best prices across a vast range of betting markets so you can always maximise your profits!


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