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Euro Kicks Off After Year-Long Delay

Brad King
by Brad King
European Championships Kick Off After Year-Long Delay

It has been a long time coming, but the European Championships will finally take place this summer. The tournament was initially meant to take place in 2020, but was delayed by 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UEFA have stuck to their plans of having eleven host countries to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the tournament, with the final set to take place at Wembley on July 11th. Below, we will go through the groups, and assess the teams that those betting with a welcome bonus could bet on to win the Euros.

Group A

The first match of the competition will be played in Rome, as Italy take on Turkey. Group A is certainly one of the toughest to call, as Wales and Switzerland are the remaining two nations in the group. Italy were perfect throughout qualification, as they won all ten games that they played, and conceded just four goals.

Turkey are among the dark horses for the competition this year, as they qualified after finishing second behind world champions France in qualification. Switzerland topped their qualification group, but have often had problems in major tournaments. The Welsh are the unknown quantity in this group, as they look to improve on their semi-final outing at Euro 2016.

Group B

Group B looks more straightforward to call. Belgium, who boast an impressive array of talent, will be among the favourites to win the whole tournament. Kevin De Bruyne will be the man to watch. They should have very few issues topping this group, which also contains Denmark, Finland and Russia. Finland’s story is a heartwarming one, as they will be competing in a major tournament for the first time in their history.

However, they will face a fight to qualify, as Russia and Denmark are both talented outfits. Russia will be looking to kick on after an impressive World Cup showing in 2018, while Denmark have a creative flair in the form of Christian Eriksen. The second spot could be an interesting battle in Group B.

Group C

The Netherlands will be back at a major tournament after missing the previous World Cup and Euro 2016. The Dutch enjoyed a renaissance throughout qualification, as they finish second behind Germany. It would be hard to rule them out of making a push to win the competition, but at the very least, they should ease through Group C.

Ukraine will be many people’s picks to join them, as they topped a qualification group that also included reigning champions Portugal and Serbia. Austria looks to be the only nation that could stand in their way, while North Macedonia will be competing in the first major tournament in their history.

Group D

European Championships 2021England are the nation that many experts are picking to end their long wait for international success this summer. The Three Lions will play the majority of their games at Wembley, including a highly-anticipated showdown with Scotland in the second round of group fixtures. The Scots will be competing in their first major tournament since 1998, but will face a fight to make it through to the knockout round. They could be in a battle to finish as one of the best-placed third teams at the Euros. 

There will be a weight of expectation on Gareth Southgate, as he looks to shoehorn in the abundance of attacking talent that he has at his disposal. World Cup semi-final victors Croatia are a familiar foe for England, and the two sides that are expected to qualify meet on the opening night of games. The Czech Republic also have talent in their squad, but making it out of this group looks unlikely.

Group E

Spain and Sweden clashed in qualification, and they do battle once again in the main tournament itself. Spain will be the clear side to beat in Group E, as they look to bounce back from a disappointing World Cup showing in 2018.

Sweden have some exciting young talent, but the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be telling. Poland will be led by Robert Lewandowski this summer, and if on form, could be the man to fire the Poles to second spot. Slovakia are the final side in the group, but it could be tough for them to compete with the other three nations in the group.

Group F

The Group that got all fans purring with excitement ahead of Euro 2020 was Group F. Reigning champions Portugal will need to see off the challenge of the last two World Cup winners in the form of Germany and France if they are to regain their title. This could be Cristiano Ronaldo’s final international tournament with Portugal, but there are no shortage of stars in this group.

France will be led by Kylian Mbappe, while Germany are back on the comeback trail, and boss Joachim Low will be hoping to sign off with a final success before stepping back at the conclusion of the Euros. Hungary are also in Group F, but it looks to be a near-impossible challenge for them to get through this group.

Who Will Win The European Championships?

This looks set to be one of the most competitive European Championships of all time, which could mean value for those that like to bet on sports online. Belgium look to have a good chance to go far in the competition, as their golden age of talent is reaching its last chance saloon. With players such as Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, they shouldn’t have trouble finding the back of the net.

France, as the reigning world champions, are hard to ignore, but many of their stars that enjoyed excellent World Cups are struggling for form. However, the return to the international fold of Karim Benzema adds something fresh to their squad. England have the advantage of playing the majority of their games at home, and have an exciting wave of new talent, including Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford. Defensively there are still questions, but this could be the year that the Three Lions wait for a major success finally comes to an end.


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