Germany v Portugal: Ronaldo and co to surprise second favourites
The presence of four former finalists in Group B has seen it labelled the toughest group, but with Germany 19/20 to defeat Portugal, it is clear that they and Holland are rated a notch or two above Portugal and Denmark.
Portugal’s poor qualifying campaign – scraping past Norway for a play-off place – and dire friendly form – drawing with Montenegro and losing to Turkey – have done little to alter that perception, so they are 3/1 outsiders to beat Germany.
However, while there are numerous occasions in which they have underwhelmed in recent years, they have a habit of turning it on in big-match scenarios, as best demonstrated by their 6-2 thrashing of Bosnia in the second leg of their play-off.
They have never failed to progress into the knockout rounds at five prior European Championships, proving particularly adept at negotiating gruesome groups, seeing off Germany in 1984, England and Germany in 2000 and Spain in 2004.
Portugal have lost only one of their three meetings with Germany on neutral territory, memorably embarrassing them 3-0 with a weakened team in the group stage at Euro 2000, and Joachim Low’s side are prone to first-round wobbles.
They exited briskly in 2000 and 2004 and even after their vast improvement under Low were conquered by Croatia in 2008 and Serbia at the World Cup.
Don’t allow the boredom generated by the first set of group games at the World Cup cloud your judgement, as of the combined 24 fixtures that got each nation going at the last three editions, 11 produced three goals or more.
Germany’s three clashes with Portugal this century ended in the same fashion, suggesting that the 5/6 on this encounter featuring over 2.5 goals is a shrewd bet.
One of the pair scored three goals in each of those matches, a feat that Germany are 3/1 to replicate in this collision and Portugal are a monster 15/2 to manage.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.