The stars are shining in the group of death, as the first round of pool fixtures are wrapped up on Tuesday at Euro 2020.
Reigning European champions Portugal, World Cup winners France, imposing Germany and decidedly nervous Hungary battle it out in Group F for a place in the knockouts.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s title holders can stake their claim first, before the French and Germans collide for a barnstormer in Munich.
Group F: Hungary vs Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo and his reigning champions make their Euro 2020 entrance on Tuesday, as Portugal tackle Hungary in Group F.
And they do so in the funny position of ceding home advantage to their relatively undistinguished opponents, with the fixture taking place in Budapest as the Puskas Arena.
With powerhouses France and Germany also lurking in the pool, it’ll be a huge three points if one of these two can come out on top.
The Portuguese have never failed to reach at least the quarter-finals in their seven tournament appearances, going as far as the semis three times and finishing as runners up in their home event in 2004.
Qualifying this time was no cakewalk, despite conceding just six times in Group B.
Fernando Santos’ side were pushed all the way by Serbia, who finished third, while Ukraine topped the standings.
Hungary are remarkable qualifiers in that they finished second-last in their group, behind Croatia, Wales and Slovakia.
A 12-point haul, though, gave them a shot at the play-offs where they came good against first Bulgaria and then the darlings of 2016, Iceland.
It secured back-to-back appearances as the Euros for a nation that hadn’t previously qualified since 1972.
Covid-19 reared its ugly head in the Portugal camp on the eve of the competition, with the stricken Joao Cancelo needing to be replaced in the squad by Diogo Dalot.
Legend Ronaldo will do his thing up top, while veteran Jose Fonte will likely marshal the defence, fresh from winning the Ligue Un title in France with Lille.
Their hosts are missing Dominik Szoboszlai and Zsolt Kalmar from their squad through injury, although Roland Sallai could make his return on the big stage.
Probable Hungary Starting XI: Peter Gulacsi, Endre Botka, Willi Orban, Attila Szalai, Loic Nego, Adam Nagy, Laszlo Kleinheisler, Filip Holender, Roland Sallai, Nemanja Nikolic, Adam Szalai.
Probable Portugal Starting XI: Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Jose Fonte, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Bruno Fernandes, Danilo Pereira, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota.
Group F: France vs Germany
The first round of pool fixtures comes to a close on Tuesday night with one of the biggest games of all, as France and Germany go toe-to-toe in Munich.
It’s a titanic clash in a Group F that also contains reigning champions Portugal, who pipped Les Bleus to the crown in their own back yard five years ago.
With the French going on to lift the World Cup in 2018 it’s the Germans in the unfamiliar position of underdogs, as long-serving coach Joachim Low negotiates his final tournament at the helm.
France, continental champions in 2000 and 1984, made smooth enough progress through a tricky qualifying Group H.
Didier Deschamps saw his side finish top, two points clear of Turkey, with Iceland and Albania trailing.
The Germans also topped their pool by two points, seeing off the challenge of arch-rivals the Netherlands at the summit.
And they’re due a title, having not won the Euros since 1996, with semi-final agony in the last two events following their runner-up finish in 2008.
It always seems to come down to personalities in the French squad, with Karim Benzema continuing his reintegration into the international ranks.
He looks set to join Kylian Mbappe up front, supported by a terrifying engine room including N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba.
Low is still waiting for Leon Goretska’s return to fitness but has a wealth of tournament experience at his disposal.
Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller give them all the miles on the clock they need to push the champions of the world in Bavaria.
Probable France Starting XI: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez, Corentin Tolisso, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe.
Probable Germany Starting XI: Manuel Neuer, Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos, Robin Gosens, Thomas Muller, Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry.
Euro 2020 predictions for 15 June
Prediction methodology explained:?The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.