By News Team
Last Updated: 18th June 2021
Two of Europe’s elite sides go head-to-head at the Allianz Arena on Saturday as Portugal take on Germany in the second round of the Euro group stages.
We preview the vital Group F fixture below.
Will Ronaldo and Portugal top the group?
The reigning European champions Portugal are sitting pretty after a 3-0 win over Hungary in their opener but there is no doubt, they were flattered by the scoreline.
Fernando Santos’ side dominated possession but lacked a cutting edge against stubborn and well-organised Hungary, who were always going to be the group’s whipping boys. It took a deflected 84th minute strike to break Hungary’s resistance.
The legend that is Cristiano Ronaldo then added two more, one from the spot, to give the scoreline a glossy feel. However, despite a squad of talented playmakers, Portugal created very few clear openings and the performance was a little underwhelming.
That said, Portugal look a side set up to play on the counter-attack, and with Germany duty bound to take the initiative to their opponents in front of their home fans after losing to France, Santos’ side will fancy their chances on the break.
Portugal are 11/5 to win on Saturday, which could secure top spot for them. First-half goals have been at a premium in the tournament so far, and with a cagey tactical game expected, it may pay to play the double result of draw half-time/draw full time at 18/5. Work out your potential winnings with our easy-to-use online betting calculator.
Can Germany bounce back from defeat?
It feels unfair to be too harsh on a side who only went down by an own goal to the reigning world champions and tournament favourites France in their opener, but Germany have work to do. Joachim Low’s side was typically well organised and technically good, of course, but they rarely troubled France in front of goal.
France defended deep and easily snuffed out the speedy threat of Serge Gnabry and substitutes Leroy Sane and Timo Werner. As the game wore on, it seemed a second France goal was more likely than an equaliser and Germany had VAR to thank that it didn’t come.
In truth, France were happy to sit back and had Germany where they wanted them. Once Plan A did not work for Low, there was no Plan B.
Despite an array of Premier League and Bundesliga talent, Germany are certainly not the force of old and lack a physical presence up front, in the style of a Miroslav Klose, not to mention a dominant playmaker in midfield.
With four of the third-place group teams qualifying, Germany could lose this one and still qualify for the last 16 by blitzing Hungary in their final game. However, it is hard to see them losing a second match on the trot on home soil, and a point shared (9/4) between both teams could suit best.
Germany have won the last four times these two have met and lead the head-to-head 10-3 overall with five draws, while never losing to Portugal on home soil, so no surprise to see them as 13/10 favourites to win this one.