The term ‘Group of Death’ has been overused in recent times.
At the 2018 World Cup, some drama-loving hopefuls tried to make Croatia, Iceland, Argentina and Nigeria sound like a perilously competitive quartet.
You can’t force a Group of Death, they just happen.
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With that said, there can be no doubt that Euro 2020’s Group F is a genuine Group of Death.
World Cup holders France are set to take on reigning European champions Portugal, perennial tournament heavyweights Germany, and… Hungary.
Marco Rossi’s side will be firm underdogs (or whipping boys depending on polite you want to be) while the three big dogs scrap it out for supremacy.
The unpredictable nature of Group F is a testing riddle for Dream Team Euros gaffers to ponder.
In previous tournaments, with France, Germany and Portugal separated in relatively favourable groups, you might build the majority of your XI using players from these nations.
But the instinct to stock up on Frenchman and Germans is quashed by the fact the two behemoths of the international game take on each other in the group’s blockbuster opener.
Think about it, does it make sense to have Manuel Neuer in goal and Kylian Mbappe up front from the get-go? If one succeeds the other fails.
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It might be wise to avoid goalkeepers and defenders from Group F altogether, as clean sheets are far from assured.
Trying to predict the rock, paper, scissors game in the Group of Death seems needlessly risk when the likes of Belgium, Spain, Italy and England have relatively favourable opponents.
If you feel compelled to select the superstars of Group F – and most Dream Team Euros bosses undoubtedly will – then it’s probably best to stick with the forwards and attack-minded midfielders.
Another tactic would be to wait until you’ve got the lay of the land.
The outcome of France v Germany on June 15th will give us a huge indication of how the three-way power struggle might play out for the remainder of the group.
If Les Bleus batter Joachim Low’s side – as Spain did in November of last year – that might dictate how you use the first of your 20 transfers.
This is very much the safe approach and while it minimises risk it also means missing out on potential rewards of a bountiful nature.
Say France do swat aside Germany courtesy of an Mbappe hat-trick and a clean sheet, cautious individuals will fall behind the bolder bosses of the mini-leagues who weren’t perturbed by the unpredictable fixture.
Making a bold decision and taking a side from the off could allow you to get ahead of the pack.
For example, if you confidently predict France and Portugal will finish first and second in the group you can swerve the Germans from the off and stack your XI full of the Antoine Griezmanns and Cristiano Ronaldos of this world.
Dream Team Euros Group of Death Strategies:
- Avoid keepers and defenders but go heavy on midfielders and forwards from the start
- Wait until the first couple of fixtures to see which teams and players look in good form
- Boldly back two of the teams from the off – high risk, high reward