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Euro 2024: Group F preview and team guide

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The European Championship is round the corner and ahead of the action we have profiled each of the 24 competing teams.

Group F contains an in-form Portugal, Turkey, the Czech Republic and tournament debutants Georgia.

Euro 2024: Group F preview and team guide

Turkey

  • Head coach: Vincenzo Montella
  • Key player: Hakan Calhanoglu
  • One to watch: Arda Güler
  • FIFA Ranking: 40
  • Best Euro performance: Third-place (2008)

After being labelled in some sectors as potential dark horses at Euro 2020, Turkey crashed out in the group stage after three straight defeats, before continuing their 20-year exile from the World Cup by missing out on a place in Qatar.

Vincenzo Montella’s side will be keen to make amends this summer, in what could be a competitive Group F. Turkey secured qualification impressively after topping a group containing Croatia and have a squad of players heading into the tournament after strong club seasons. The Turkish Süper Lig season saw Galatasaray (102) and Fenerbahce (99) set record points totals in a thrilling title race and eight of the preliminary squad come from the two Istanbul giants.

Clever from Hakan Çalhanoğlu 🇹🇷#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/Nez2r3esqQ

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) February 6, 2024

Hakan Calhanoglu is the star name in the side and has had a career-best campaign at Inter Milan, with the midfielder arguably Serie A’s most influential player in a deep playmaking role for the Italian champions.

19-year-old Arda Guler will hope to continue his exciting emergence after becoming the fastest player in Real Madrid history to score six La Liga goals this season, in just 330 minutes of playing time. Elsewhere, Kerem Aktürkoğlu adds an x-factor as evidenced by a stunning Champions League goal at Manchester United earlier this season.

Turkey have their flaws, as seen in March’s 6-1 defeat to Austria, but the talent to trouble top teams having claimed wins over Croatia and Germany in the last year. The task for Montella will be ensuring it is the latter version that shows up at Euro 2024.

Georgia

  • Head coach: Willy Sagnol
  • Key player: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
  • One to watch: Georges Mikautadze
  • FIFA Ranking: 75
  • Best Euro performance: First-time qualifiers (2024)

Georgia will make their major tournament debut this summer after beating Luxembourg and Greece to qualify via the Nations League play-offs. It is a huge achievement for a team ranked 75th in the world, with former Bayern Munich defender Willy Sagnol the mastermind of their success.

The initial qualification phase was tough for Georgia, who finished behind Spain, Scotland and Norway, and included a 7-1 home thrashing by the Spanish. The game plan for the Georgians will be to be compact in their five-man backline and bring Khvicha Kvaratskhelia into the game as much as possible.

Kvaratskhelia is comfortably his nation’s biggest talent and the Napoli winger is a £100m player in waiting. Named Serie A’s Most Valuable Player during the club’s 2022-23 title success, he has 23 goals and 16 assists across the last two Serie A seasons.

Kvaratskhelia double 🇬🇪🎯#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/GCusLeGAJL

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) February 29, 2024

Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili offers presence at the other end, while Georges Mikautadze will hope to build on a productive second half of the season at Metz. Having been sold by Metz last summer, he scored 13 goals in 21 appearances for the French side after returning on loan from Ajax in the January window.

Portugal

  • Head coach: Roberto Martinez
  • Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo
  • One to watch: Antonio Silva
  • FIFA Ranking: 6
  • Best Euro performance: Champions (2016)

Portugal could hardly arrive at Euro 2024 in better form. Since Roberto Martinez was appointed head coach, the Portuguese have won 11 of his 12 games in charge, including all 10 in their qualification campaign for this summer’s tournament.

The leading scorers with 36 scored and just two conceded, their campaign included a national record 9-0 thrashing of Luxembourg. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 times to extend his record as international football’s record scorer (128) and the 39-year-old broke the Saudi Pro League single-season goal record in 2023-24. Despite approaching his 40th birthday, Ronaldo remains Portugal’s key man and has scored 64 goals in 69 appearances since moving to Al-Nassr.

🔜🇩🇪 @euro2024 #PartilhaAPaixão

🎟️ Bilhetes para o 🇵🇹✖️🇫🇮 em https://t.co/crwK8OnS0k pic.twitter.com/NhXqM8xYK6

— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) May 21, 2024

More than Ronaldo, however, Portugal has a host of elite talents at or approaching their peak. Only Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku (15) was involved in more goals during qualification than Bruno Fernandes (14), while Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva helped Manchester City to treble success in 2022-23.

Portugal’s midfield group is arguably the strongest in the tournament. Joao Palhinha, Ruben Neves, Vitinha, Joao Neves and Otavio are all competing for places alongside Silva and Fernandes.

Czech Republic

  • Head coach: Ivan Hasek
  • Key player: Patrik Schick
  • One to watch: Adam Hložek
  • FIFA Ranking: 36
  • Best Euro performance: Winners – as Czechoslovakia (1976)

The Czech Republic lack the world-class talent of past teams with their squad void of the star appeal held by greats such as Pavel Nedved, Jan Koller and Petr Cech, but a run to the quarter-finals at Euro 2020 shows capabilities of an upset.

Patrik Schick will again lead the line after winning the Silver Boot at Euro 2020 and despite failing to command an automatic role, has had an important part in Bayer Leverkusen’s historic season with 13 goals in all competitions. Adam Hložek, another member of Leverkusen’s Bundesliga-winning team, adds unpredictability to the forward line, while 21-year-old defender Martin Vitik is highly rated.

West Ham duo Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek are also in the squad with the latter to captain the Czechs this summer.

Tomáš Souček 🇨🇿🎯#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/7WYUwbceXe

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 20, 2023

Qualification saw the Czechs finish second and concede just six goals in eight games, though admittedly in a modest group that saw Albania progress as winners. Defeat to the Albanians in October is the Czech’s sole loss in the last 12 months.

Read – Euro 2000 – Zidane’s zenith as France reign supreme

See more – Euro 2004 – Charisteas completes Greek miracle in Lisbon

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