Euros 2016 Group F Preview: Matt Hoffman on Iceland, Hungary and Fucking, Austria!


Hungary Austria Iceland

By Matt Hoffman (@mhoff)

Boasting two world class teams and two scrappy upstarts who have long been on the outside looking in, Group F may be the most intriguing group in recent Euro history.


Schedule:  Portugal (6/14 Saint-Étienne), Hungary(6/18 Marseille), and Austria (6/22 Saint-Denis)

Head Coach: Lars Lagerbäck

FIFA Rank: 34  ELO Rank: 47

Best previous Euros  finish: Inaugural European Championship entry

Players to keep an eye on: MF Gylfi Sigurðsson, Swansea City

Outlook:  Behind a tight defense, Iceland shocked the world ousting the Netherlands during both legs of qualification. Methodical, maybe even boring, Iceland hopes to survive to the knockout rounds at which case their defense can get them through to penalties which would raise more than a few eyebrows.

Did you know? Iceland has no army and are among world leaders in both gun ownership and low crime rates.


Schedule:  Hungary (6/14 Bordeaux), Portugal(6/18 Paris), and Iceland(6/22 Saint-Denis)

Head Coach: Marcel Koller

FIFA Rank: 10 ELO Rank: 21

Best previous Euros  finish: Group stage (2008)

The frequently stolen road sign welcoming you to Fucking

The frequently stolen road sign welcoming you to Fucking

Players to keep an eye on: DEF Christian Fuchs (Leicester City), FWD Marc Janko (Basel)

Outlook:  Only four teams were undefeated in qualifying and Austria was one of them, blitzing through qualifying with nine wins (in ten games) scoring 22 goals and conceding only five. Austria should advance and remain a dark horse to win the tournament.

Did you know? If you are ever invited to go to Fucking, Austria, it’s alongside the German border, just 20 miles north of Salzburg.


Schedule:  Austria (6/14 Bordeaux), Iceland (6/18 Marseille), and Portugal (6/22 Lyon)

Head Coach: Bernd Storck

FIFA Rank: 29  ELO Rank: 41

Best previous Euros  finish: 3rd place (1964)

Players to keep an eye on: MID Adam Nagy (Ferencváros), FWD Krisztián Németh (Al-Gharafa (Qatar))

Outlook:  It is a Hungarian tradition that the groom takes a toast from the shoe of his partner during a wedding ceremony. That anecdote seems to describe Hungary aptly. Their goalkeeper, Gabor Kiraly, is 40 years old and he wasn’t even alive in 1972  the last time Hungary qualified for the Euros. Kirlay and his cohorts play a controlled, slowed pace game that’s about limiting damage. Organized and disciplined, Hungary is going to need a surplus of luck if they hope to escape the group stage.

Did you know? The Austro-Hungarian collapsed in the defeat of World War I. Despite the shared parentage, Euro 2016 is the first time Austria and Hungary have played each other in a major tournament since 1934.

Follow Matt on Twitter @mhoff

Portugal have more than enough to top Group F


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