Euro 2020 is here, and 24 nations are ready to lock horns. After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, this international tournament bounces back with wild enthusiasm. Beginning with Turkey up against Italy in Rome, the excitement will peak during London’s finals. Expert analysts and passionate fans alike rank their favorites, failures, dark horses, wildcards, and top contenders. Let us look at some powerful contestants of Euro 2020 who are likely to take the trophy home.
After a stinging defeat by Portugal in their homeland in the last Euro tournament, France will be trying to settle the score in Euro 2020. They have already sent a powerful message to their competitors by winning the World Cup in Russia.
In the group phase, Les Bleus are up against giants like Germany and Portugal. They will have to play strong right from the beginning. We have good reason to believe that they will pull this off, given their performance in the World Cup and the Champions League.
With seasoned players like Raphael Varane on the defense, Paul Pogba on the midfield, and a ruthless attacker like Kylian Mbappe, Coach Didier Deschamps stands with a formidable team. One key player on the team would be Griezmann, but he has been slumping since Barcelona.
The return of Karim Benzema after a gap of almost six years has also gotten everyone’s hopes up. Some opine that his return does not mean anything for the game unless they perform cohesively as a team. If that is the yardstick of performance, then coach Deschamps better put his well-known management skills to use.
England has tough competition coming its way in the early knockout stages in the form of Portugal and France. Expectations are as high as ever after their impressive run to the semi-final in the 2018 World Cup. Assuming that everyone performs at their best, England should progress to the semi-finals at least.
The England team is predominantly made of young players. Some of them are in their peak years, like Harry Maguire and John Stones in the center back, starters like Kalvin Phillips and their captain Harry Kane.
One path to victory is being in second place in the group phase and perhaps playing against Spain and Poland. They have a better chance of progressing to the quarter-finals playing against these teams than if they came first. If they came first, they would have to fight France, Portugal, or Germany, who are tougher opponents.
The German team seems to have undergone a recent transformation after their early elimination from the 2018 World Cup. Their coach Joachim Löw is scheduled to step down after Euro 2020, given their terrible defeats at the hands of Spain and North Macedonia since 2018.
Die Manschaft is in a tough spot right now, with a lot of shuffling going on in their directorial side. In spite of these challenges, they are still perceived as an intimidating rival in the international football community.
Like England, Germany needs to work hard in the group phase. They need to be strong enough to triumph over France and Portugal. They stand a good chance of defeating Portugal by weakening their defense. Given these conditions, one would expect them to at least make it to the quarter-finals.
Italy has an experienced manager, Mancini, who has delivered impressively in the past. The team is a mix of young and experienced players. Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini make a solid central defense. They have Marco Verratti, and Nicola Barrella could be aggressive in the midfield.
Italy is often called the dark horse or wild card that takes everyone by surprise. They have laid a good track record until they failed to qualify for the 201 World Cup in Russia. In Euro 2020, they are up against Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales in the group phase, which totally looks like their cup of tea.
Portugal shone best when they emerged victorious in Euro 2016. That memory is a cherished one for those who had high hopes from the Golden Generation and Christiano Ronaldo. Since then, five years have passed, and Portugal is no longer a hopeful nation content with small victories.
The A Seleção is a talented team learning under Fernando Santos and Christiano Ronaldo, ready to take over the international game. Being the defending champions of the last tournament, they appear to be more adaptive and flexible in their strategies.
Their group includes Germany, France, and Hungary. While many people are skeptical of their victory, their coach Fernando Santos is confident that they are a title candidate.
Belgium is a strong contender, but they don’t have any significant achievements to show off. However, we can see improvements in their performance in the past two to three years. In Euro 2016, they were crushed by Wales in the quarter-finals.
But in the 2018 World Cup, they made it to the semi-finals. Their FIFA World Rankings are consistently satisfactory. Several players are nearing the descent of their careers. Euro 2020 is a golden opportunity for them to have an international achievement on their record.
Their strength is seasoned, tried, and tested team that has played alongside each other for long enough to achieve a high level of coordination. Moreover, it wouldn’t be difficult for Belgium to edge past their group- Denmark, Russia, and Finland. A couple of analysts from Goldman Sachs predicted that Belgium would defeat Italy and bag the trophy in Euro 2020!
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Predictions about Euro 2020 are highly forked. If we look at the history of this tournament, France sits on the top of the list of potential winners. But looking at recent events, Belgium and Portugal also look like possible winning candidates.
Euro 2020 has come after a disheartening delay because of the pandemic. It is the first time a European championship has been held in an odd year. It is also the first tournament to employ video assistant referees; no surprise there. But it is not uncommon for sports tournaments to have unique arrangements in 2021. This informative site offers an overview of all the upcoming sports events in 2021.