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Euro 2024 Group F preview & best bet

Updated on 11:07am GMT 6 June 2024
Euro 2024 Group F preview & best bet

Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.

Our run through the Euro 2024 group stages concludes with Group F.  This summer’s showpiece in Germany could prove to be the last major tournament for Cristiano Ronaldo and the veteran Portugal forward may have a chance to add to his record haul of 14 goals in the Euros as his side have been handed what appears to be a favourable draw in Group F.

The 2016 winners are joined by Turkey, the Czech Republic and debutants Georgia in the opening round in a group where second spot looks to be up for grabs.


Euro 2024 Group F preview

Turkey

Star Man – Hakan Calhanoglu

Manager – Vincenzo Montella

Best Euros Finish – Semi-finals 2008

Turkey were touted as dark horses for the last European Championships after an impressive qualifying campaign but the Crescent-Stars were disappointing, losing all three games and scoring just a single goal.

This time around they again put together a strong run at qualifying, topping Group D ahead of Wales and Croatia, with a crucial away win in eastern Europe the deciding factor.

That was the first match in charge for new boss Vincenzo Montella but the Italian has suffered some poorer results recently, including a 6-1 friendly defeat at the hands of Austria.

There are a number of interesting youngsters coming through the Turkish ranks, particularly Real Madrid attacking midfielder Arda Guler, but on paper this side could be lacking star quality in forward areas.

Key man and captain Hakan Calhanoglu was the only player in the squad for the Austria game with more than five goals for his country and there may be pressure on 19-year-old Kenan Yildiz to step up.

If they can replicate their qualifying efforts they could have a big say in a wide open group but the percentage call is that they may be outclassed at some point in the knockout stages.


Georgia

Star Man – Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Manager – Willy Sagnol

Best Euros Finish – Debut

Georgia broke new ground with a penalty shootout victory over Greece in the Euro 2024 qualifying play-offs, reaching a major tournament for the first time in the country’s history.

The Crusaders are the archetype of a team benefitting from the creation of the Nations League.

They were the first team to earn promotion in the competition in 2018 and it was their performance in that tournament two years ago that earned them a spot in the play-offs for this Euros.

Their actual performances in qualifying were a mixed bag, with draws against Scotland and Norway coupled with a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Spain.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is the obvious standout in the squad after starring in Napoli’s title-winning campaign last season.

However keep an eye out for striker Georges Mikautadze, who netted 13 goals in 20 games for Metz in Ligue 1 and has been linked with a move to Monaco.

In general goals shouldn’t be a major issue but their defence leaves a bit to be desired. Reaching the tournament alone is a major achievement so expect this side to play without fear, although they do look up against it when it comes to progressing to the knockout stages.


Portugal

Star Man – Bruno Fernandes

Manager – Roberto Martinez

Best Euros Finish – Champions 2016

Roberto Martinez failed to lead Belgium to a major trophy with their golden generation and now faces a similar task with his new team Portugal.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Rui Patricio and Pepe are not getting any younger while the core of the squad, players such as Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Ruben Dias, are rapidly approaching 30.

This side were known for their attritional football when lifting the European Championship in 2016 but Martinez has allowed them to play with much more creative freedom than previous manager Fernando Santos.

The Iberians won all ten qualifiers by an aggregate score of 36-2 and the only time they have failed to win in 12 games under Martinez was a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Slovenia last time out.

It’s hard to read too much into the strength of their recent dominant form given the calibre of the opposition and carrying a 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo to another European title looks a tough ask.

Portugal undoubtedly have the quality to win the tournament and should breeze through the group. However, Martinez may suffer the same fate as he did in his spell with Belgium and run into a team that edges them in the knockout stages.


Czech Republic

Star Man – Patrick Schick

Manager – Ivan Hasek

Best Euros Finish – Runners-up 1996

The Czech Republic produced their best performance at a major tournament since reaching the semi-finals of this competition in 2004 when they reached the last eight in the last edition.

They beat the Netherlands in the round of 16 there before being pipped 2-1 by Denmark in the quarter-finals.

They failed to qualify for the last World Cup after losing out to Sweden in the play-offs before a difficult qualifying process for the Euros.

Without star striker Patrick Schick through injury, the Czechs struggled to get out of a winnable group, eventually securing a spot in this tournament with a 3-0 win over Moldova in the final game.

Manager Jaroslav Silhavy resigned after that match and has been replaced by Ivan Hasek, who is something of a company man having previously been president of the Czech FA and managing five games as the national team’s coach in 2009.

Schick is fit again and should link up well with star youngster Adam Hlozek, the pair both high on confidence after their blockbuster season with Bayer Leverkusen.

However the discord surrounding the team throughout qualifying and concerns about the calibre of the new manager mean that there are question marks hanging over the side.


Group F Best Bet

Portugal to win Group F

Turkey, the Czech Republic and Georgia come into the tournament perhaps as unknown quantities, in varying degrees, but it is hard to see big guns Portugal failing to top this particular pile.

The 2016 winners could go far in this year’s edition of the competition and they’re coming into Euro 2024 after a perfect qualifying campaign. The Portuguese may well be able to win all three of their opening fixtures and they should comfortably be able to qualify for the next round as the Group F winners.


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