Without fail, every single major competition for as long as I can remember watching Football has had a group of death. For those looking for clarifications, the group of death will usually contain at least 3 of the ‘favourites’ to go deep into the competition. In most competitions we will lose one of those teams way earlier than expected and this maintains the legendary status of the group of death.
The term originates from a group of Mexican Journalists describing Group 3 in the 1970 World Cup and began its life as Grupo de la Muerte, which of course stands for group of death. This Group contained the 1966 World Cup Champions from England, the eventual champions Brazil, 1962 Finalists Czechislovakia and Romania. This happened again in what is seen as the strongest group of death in World Cup history, the 1982 World Cup. In the second Group Stage, reigning champions Argentina were drawn against eventual Champions Italy and the ever present contender Brazil.
Every year without fail, the World Cup somehow brings forth a Group of Death, and this year is no exception. This year we have Group F, which is home to ever present Germany, current reigning World Cup champions France, the holders Portugal and the always dangerous Hungary. This group is shaping up to be a serious test for all involved, but question is, who gets out of the group, and who suffers the fate of the Grupo de la Muerte.
Ever present in major European and World competitions, Germany are always dangerous. Ready to play spoilers to any team who hopes to win the trophy, Germany have gone too long without a major honour to their name. I expect Germany to come out fighting, hoping to ruin France’s chance of European Championships glory to go alongside the World Cup. They will then play Portugal, concluding against Hungary, and if it all goes to plan for them, the group should just get easier.
Prediction – 2nd place – Through to the Knockout stages as group runner up.
The reigning World Cup champions look like great value for their win in Russia in 2018. They looked the part of champions ready to build themselves a legacy and a dynasty in maybe European and World competition. Before that had even started however, it had seemingly evaporated. Watching England be labelled as favourites will have stung, but no more than finding out that you are in the group of death. France open their campaign against Germany, followed by Hungary, then a final tough gain against Portugal. The group is hard that is true, however I cannot look past them.
Prediction – 1st place – Group winners and through to the knockout stages.
The reigning and defending champions are in a bit of a weird situation. Seemingly out of nowhere, Portugal won the 2016 European Championships, managing to draw 4 of their 7 games including all three of their group games. They barely snuck into the knockout stages on goal difference and faced down Croatia in the round of 16. Winning in extra time twice and via penalties once, Portugal earned everything they got at the competition. With that being said, I think both Germany and France are serious competition and I feel like Portugal is a little left out.
Prediction – 3rd place – Into the round of 16 via a playoff, if at all.
Poor Hungary, somehow they have ended up in the roughest group this year and it is almost unfair to say the least. Without a real chance of progression (prove me wrong) it will feel to some like waiting for the inevitable 0 points, something England are used to in European Competitions, especially ones that relate to singing. The best thing that Hungary can do is to play spoiler, and ruin someone else’s chances of progression.
Prediction – 4th place – Attempting to ruin other team’s progression.
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