Euro 2020 Preview

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The delayed UEFA European Football Championships will finally get underway on Friday 11 June, almost a year after it had been originally scheduled. It has been a long wait for football fans across Europe and the world, but the waiting is finally over.

Each of the 24 qualifying nations will hope to make it all the way to the showpiece final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 11 July, but first they must qualify from one of the six groups of four teams.

Who are the favourites?

As always, the betting is very competitive for who will be crowned European champions, but France and England are popular in the market. The current world champions, who will include the huge talent of Kylian Mbappe amongst their ranks, boast a very strong squad.

England, who can benefit from having both semi-finals and the final at Wembley if they get that far will also arrive with a team full of talent. Gareth Southgate’s young squad reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018 but could go all the way this time with the likes of Harry Kane, and the emerging talents of Phil Foden, Mason Mount, and Jude Bellingham amongst their ranks.

Belgium have gone close in their last two major competitions, whilst the likes of Germany, Spain, and Italy can never be written off when it comes to winning these tournaments.

Where is the tournament being hosted?

Euro 2020 will be held across the European continent for the first time in the competition’s 60-year history and will have 11 host cities in all. These cities are London, Saint Petersburg, Baku, Munich, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, and Seville.

How do the groups look and what is the format?

The six groups in the initial round-robin stage were drawn during a ceremony in December last year and are as follows:

Group A:          Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland

Group B:          Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia

Group C:          Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia

Group D:          England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic

Group E:          Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia

Group F:          Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany

The format of the group stages will be the same as for Euro 2016 with the top two in each of the six groups proceeding to the round of 16 along with the four best third-placed finishers. It is then a straight knockout tournament, which will bring all the drama of extra-time and penalty shootouts that we have seen down the years.

Previous winners

Germany and Spain are the most successful nations in the European Championships having won the title on three occasions each. They are followed by France who have won the tournament twice, whilst there have also been wins for the Soviet Union, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Greece.

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