One coach laughed (Didier Deschamps of France), one coach looked ashen-faced (Joachim Low of Germany) and one coach simply stared into the distance (Fernando Santos of Portugal)…
The dust has settled and the fog has cleared. We now know what the groups are for the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship. It has given us an undisputed group of death with France, Germany and Portugal, giving a whole new perspective who is the main favourite to win this years European Championship edition. Is it finally coming home? The odds for outright winner tells us so, with England being the number one favourite on the list. There are some other teams that are doing well with the bookies. In fact it is your usual suspects again with England, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. The last is a bit weird since they didn’t even participate in the last edition, but with their rich past and the current squad with van Dijk, de Ligt and de Jong they are always at least an outside favourite for the title.
In this post we are going to look at each group and each team one by one and see where the opportunities lie for you to bet on:
Prediction Group A: 1. Italy 2. Wales 3. Turkey 4. Switzerland
Italy managed to get through the qualifications undamaged (perfect record). Belgium is the only other team that managed equal this achievement. Turkey has shown their qualities in defence with an astounding defence record. Merih Demiral, Ozan Kabak and Caglar Soyuncu might not be worldstars like van Dijk, but together they seemed to have found a chemistry that makes them like a brick wall for attackers. Wales is looking to continue their growth as a football nation after the successful 2016 campaign. Switzerland is a team that rarely dominates, but also rarely gets beaten by great numbers. Typical Switzerland aye? This is a hard group to call besides Italy coming out on top. And even that isn’t a given. If Italy fails to crush the Turkey wall, their meeting with Gareth Bale will be of crucial importance and we’ve seen what playing for the national team does with Bale.
Prediction Group B: 1. Belgium 2. Denmark. 3. Russia 4. Finland
There is not much to say about the FIFA nr 1 ranking country with a perfect score in qualifications except for the fact that this might be the last chance for a golden generation to shine. We expect Denmark to be the only team that might stand a chance of challenging the Belgium Super Star team. After all, with Christian Eriksen, Kasper Dolberg and Lasse Schöne, Denmark is playing Ajax School football and we know from the Champions League this is quite effective. Besides Belgium versus Denmark, thé match to watch will be the neighbour quarrel between Finland and Russia. The Derby of the East Sea.
Prediction Group C: 1. Netherlands 2. Ukraine 3. Austria 4. (Kosovo?)
The Netherlands came in second in their group due to a draw against Northern Ireland. Turned out to be a good thing as the Germans, who came in first, got stuck with France and Portugal. What makes the Netherlands so special is that they have the two best central defenders in their team; Virgil van Dijk and Mathijs de Ligt. Not only do these two keep the doors closed, they both also excel in contributing to scoring goals with their height and strength. The Dutch have been far from flawless though in this qualification and it seems the team is not fully operative yet. Ukraine on the other hand is, leaving France behind and going for top seed. The meeting between these two countries will be the most exciting match to watch. Shevchenko’s side are a tough cookie, having kept five clean sheets in eight unbeaten qualifiers. We have to wait how things progress in the coming month, but this might be a great match to bet on!
Prediction Group D: 1. England 2. Croatia 3. Czech Republic 4. (Norway?)
If England doesn’t win this one, we don’t know when they will. They have been handed a fairly easy group and are probably playing five out of seven games in the Wembley stadium. We could give them English referees for their matches, but that would be too lucky. England has a tradition of not fulfilling promises on large tournaments and Croatia is just the country with the fighting mentality to unmask any weakness on the English side. Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric have proven in the World Cup 2018 what Croatia is capable of. We are most likely to see Norway as the final spot in this group and they are young and talented. Not quite there yet to advance probably, but a team to look out for in the following years.
Prediction Group E: 1. Spain 2. Poland 3. Sweden 4. ????
Will the current power struggle between Luis Enrique and his former assistant Robert Moreno still influence the game of Spain in July? We think it’s long enough for the dust to settle. If not, Robert Lewandowski will be kind enough to show the world any insecurities Spain might struggle with. Poland has a great goalie in Wojciech Szczesny as well, a name not mentioned enough. Sweden is building a post-Ibrahimovic team and they have seemed to have found a rightful successor to the throne in Dejan Kulusevski. While the world is watching for Lewandowski versus Sergio Ramos, this talented Swedish striker might just surprise us all.
Prediction Group F: who knows!
One coach laughed (Didier Deschamps of France), one coach looked ashen-faced (Joachim Low of Germany) and one coach simply stared into the distance (Fernando Santos of Portugal). With Romania probably topping of the group, this is the nightmare group of the tournament. We could make a list of players to watch, matches not to miss and a list of prizes from the three countries combined.. But it would become a story too long for any blog post. Sit back and relax on this group, probably bet on France who want revenge over Portugal, but other than that this is a dangerous group to gamble on.