• Elliott Peeters-Vanstone

EURO 2020: A complete guide to this summer’s biggest event



As the European Championships edge ever closer, we take a look at the 24 countries who will battle it out across 11 host nations in the most hotly anticipated event this summer.


In a year of trials and tribulations across the football world, the Euro’s promises to be the light at the end of the tunnel for football fans everywhere.


Kicking off at 8:00pm, Turkey and Italy face off in Rome and will aim to set Europe alight in a tasty tournament opener that looks to be nothing but eventful from the get-go.


Gareth Southgate’s England side will be aiming to turn on the style against Croatia this Sunday at Wembley, as fans across the nation pray for football to finally ‘come home’.


Take the time to join us as we explore what the group stage has to offer in our preview of the biggest festival of football 2021 has to offer.



Group A

Italy

Switzerland

Turkey

Wales


My Group A Prediction

Turkey Italy

Switzerland

Wales


The Roundup:

It is without a doubt that the return of the Euro’s will excite fans across the continent, but nobody could be more excited than the 2016 semi-finalists Wales. However, despite their stellar showing last time out in this competition, Gareth Bale and his teammates could be in danger of falling far short of their previous achievements following Ryan Giggs’ dismissal and their very difficult group-stage draw. The Italians will go into the tournament quietly confident with a 25-game unbeaten streak under their belts and three home fixtures to begin their campaign. However, tournament dark-horses Turkey could be set to steal the show in Group A. The Crescent Stars have already faced Holland, Germany, Croatia and France this year and not lost to any of them. Captain Burak Yilmaz has just won Ligue 1 with Lille and has the potential to lead the Turkish line to devastating effect. Finally, the Swiss will also be awkward customers in Group A with seasoned professionals like Manuel Akanji, Granit Xhaxa and Xherdan Shaqiri in their squad. However, they might find it difficult to overcome the depths of quality from their counterparts and in my opinion will be lucky to finish any higher than 3rd place in the group.



Group B

Belgium

Denmark

Finland

Russia


My Group B Prediction

Belgium

Russia

Denmark

Finland


The Roundup:

Belgian fans will be licking their lips at the sight of the Group B. The world number one ranked side will be aiming to capitalise on their group draw and start their campaign off with a bang. With arguably one of the best strikers in world football in the shape of Romelu Lukaku at their disposal and the creative genius of Kevin De Bruyne behind him, there is no room for error as the Red Devils push for the European Glory that they so desperately crave. Standing in their way will be the 1992 champions, Denmark who will play all of their group games in front of a home crowd. With the experience of Kasper Schmeichel and Champions League Winner Andreas Christensen in their back line, the Danes will be difficult to break down and could potentially cause a real upset against the Belgians. However, it would be foolish to completely write off both Russia and Finland in this group. The Russians boast an impressive World Cup Quarter Final run in 2018 where they narrowly lost out to finalists Croatia. Their key men Denis Cheryshev, Aleksander Golovin and Artem Dzyuba all look dangerous when their tails are up and are all players to keep your eyes on. Finally, we could be ready to witness one of the stories of the competition as Finland look to perform well in their first major tournament. I think that it will be difficult for Teemu Pukki’s men to do anything other than prop up this group. However, as we all know, this is international football, and anything can happen.



Group C

Austria

Netherlands

North Macedonia

Ukraine


My Group C Prediction

Netherlands

Ukraine

Austria

North Macedonia


The Roundup:

It is clear that Group C is always going to be a difficult one to call. The group favourites Netherlands are facing the tournament without star defender Virgil Van Dijk and have just recently lost Manchester United man Donny Van De Beek too. Their form hasn’t been electric either after drawing 2-2 with Scotland and losing 4-2 to Turkey in their last 5 games. However, the Oranje should still have enough firepower to top the group. Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine side won’t lie down easily following their first-place finish in the qualifying campaign ahead of the likes of Portugal and Serbia. Major Tournament debutants North Macedonia will also be looking to make an impression on the world as they aim to build on some notable results such as their shock 2-1 win over Germany. Finally, the David Alaba and his Austrian counterparts will be desperate make it out of the group at the Euro’s for the first time in their history.




Group D

Croatia

Czech Republic

England

Scotland


My Group D Prediction

England

Scotland

Croatia

Czech Republic


The Roundup:

As the Three Lions embark on their European Championship journey, it is no doubt that Russia 2018 will be weighing heavy on players and fans minds. If the undeniable pressure to build upon their World Cup performance wasn’t enough, facing their semi-final executioners in the group opener certainly will be. Gareth Southgate’s side may still be uncertain, but the vast amounts of attacking prowess within their ranks certainly stands them in good stead in their quest to achieve European Glory. However, the Croatians will no doubt look to replicate their World Cup achievements and ultimately go one step further this time around. Although their form has slumped since 2018, the midfield trio of Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic will be crucial in controlling the Croatian game plan and asserting themselves as a real competitor in this tournament. In my opinion, Scotland and the Czech Republic are going to be fighting it out for third place in Group D. However, the Scots have managed to pull one over on the Czech Republic twice this year already and will definitely take confidence from that. Not to mention the fact that they also will face England too who’s rivalry will push them to perform at their very best. The way I see it, there is absolutely no reason why we can’t see two home nations make it out of this group and progress deep into the tournament.



Group E

Poland

Slovakia

Spain

Sweden


My Group E Prediction

Sweden

Poland

Spain

Slovakia


The Roundup:

Group E reminds us that we still are deep within a global pandemic and a tournament of this nature should definitely not be taken for granted. The Spanish team, absent of any Real Madrid players have already had two players test positive for Coronavirus and could face some serious issues going into their tournament opener on Sunday against Sweden. The uncertainty surrounding Spain’s squad opens Group E to a whole host of surprises and makes it anyone’s game to top the group. Sweden could look to capitalise on this with Emile Forsberg pulling the strings and starlet Aleksander Isak looking to step into the shoes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and add to his 17 La Liga goals this season. On the other hand, Robert Lewandowski’s Poland will be looking to get the most out of their ageing squad as these European Championships could mark the last major tournament for a lot of their key players. Finally, Slovakia who will be difficult to break down with Milan Skriniar marauding their back line certainly could put their name into the hat to make it out of this group. Ultimately the uncertainty in the Spanish camp could make for a very tasty outcome in Group E, but my guess could be as good as any.



Group F

France

Germany

Hungary

Portugal


My Group F Prediction

Portugal

Germany

France

Hungary


The Roundup:

Finally, the group of death is enough to wet the appetites for fans across the globe. The three giants of France, Germany and Portugal all have the potential to win the tournament in their own right, so Hungary will face an uphill task from the outset despite being unbeaten in their last 9 matches. Tournament favourites France go into the Euro’s with the pressure of being crowned World Champions but their strength in depth in all positions makes them one of the most dangerous outfits in world football right now. Next, defending European Championship Winners Portugal are also littered with talent and definitely capable of echoing their 2016 success. The breakout of Ruben Dias and Bruno Fernandes, the flair of Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix and of course having Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks means the Portuguese will be a force to be reckoned with this year and will certainly be eyeing the retention of their crown. Finally, the new look Germany side looks the weakest on paper out of the big three. However, as we all know, the Germans have winning in their DNA and they rarely fail to deliver on the international

stage. By playing in front of a home crowd in the group stage and having 4 players In the Champions League Final this year, it would be foolish to write the German’s off in this one.

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