UEFA EURO 2020 daily preview: What to look out for on Tuesday
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
The opening set of group games end as Portugal begin their title defence against Hungary and world champions France face Germany.
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The reigning world and European champions both enter the UEFA EURO 2020 fray on Tuesday.
We preview the Group F action as Portugal begin their title defence against Hungary and France meet Germany.
18:00: Hungary vs Portugal (Group F, Budapest)
As ever with Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo will dominate the headlines – the Juventus star is in line to become the first player to appear at five EUROs and goes into the 2020 tournament level with Michel Platini on nine finals goals, as well as being just five short of Ali Daei's all-time international scoring record of 109. Hungary may prove obdurate opponents, however: they're unbeaten in 11 matches and a 12th would equal their best run in the years since the Magical Magyars.
Ronaldo has sights set on a wider target, however, telling EURO2020.com: "For me, more important is winning two EUROs. That would be really important. The team have been working very well – they are prepared and now we want to start on the right foot by winning the first game, [which is] fundamental in this competition. Five years on from 2016, the team is different – younger, with enormous potential – but only the progress of the competition will tell us if it's better or worse. Let's enjoy it."
Key stat: Hungary have never beaten Portugal in 13 past matches (D4 L9) – the only side they have faced ten or more times without winning.
21:00: France vs Germany (Group F, Munich)
Perhaps the plum tie of the opening round of EURO 2020 games is saved for last as 2018 FIFA World Cup winners France travel to play the side who preceded them as world champions, Germany. Les Bleus have won 16 of their last 20 matches, losing only once, and much of the attention will be on whether Didier Deschamps opts to field the returning Karim Benzema alongside Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé. However, for all the excitement surrounding that trio, Didier Deschamps isn't neglecting the threat of Germany's forwards.
Like France's potentially lethal triumvirate, Germany's attackers will attempt to pull defenders into places where they don't want to go. As Deschamps said: "The objective is to be effective in both boxes because that's where the game will be decided."
Germany coach Joachim Löw is equally aware of the difficulty posed by his rivals as he prepares for the start of the last-ever tournament of his 15-year reign, explaining: "Both sides have dangerous attacks. You have to be focused every second and not take your eyes off any of them."
After some mixed results in recent years, Germany intend to reignite the spark in Munich. The opposition and the occasion certainly offer the right parameters to do so, but do they have the fire power to make full use of whatever France's well-drilled defence offers them?
Key stat: France are unbeaten in five matches against Germany (W3 D2), since a 1-0 loss in the quarter-finals of Germany's triumphant campaign at the 2014 World Cup, Mats Hummels heading the only goal.
All times CET