Euro 2020 (in 2021)

Euro 2020 finally starts on Friday and it should be an interesting tournament. There are a lot of amazing young players who could become superstars in this tournament, but you just wonder if Ronaldo will end up having the final say.

Having said that, Portugal are in the group of death which includes both France and Germany so they need to start well. Which means He needs to start well.

Here’s a schedule.

The first England match is in the AM so I’ll have to watch it at home

Some thoughts on the key teams:

France maybe have the strongest squad but the usual problem with the French squad is whether they can stay united as a group.

Germany are in the group of death with France and have a squad of experience and youth. That German midfield will be as strong as anyone.

The third team in that group are Portugal who need Him to pull them through. But He is capable of doing it.

Hungary make up the fourth team in that group but are better than you think.

The Netherlands maybe have the weakest squad I’ve ever seen from a Dutch group, but you can never write anybody off.

England have some wonderful young attacking players. They could play maybe 20 combinations and you wouldn’t be too unhappy. But it is a very young group. Maybe a tournament or two too early.

Belgium have an array of talent. This is their golden generation and they are have the experience together now to push on and win it.

I look at Spain and think: this looks like the weakest Spain squad for quite a while. Yet they are still fearsome.

Italy are the other dark horses. Even the Italians probably don’t believe they can win it, but put that down to superstition. They will give anyone a game.

But there’s always an upset at the Euros. Who’s to say the winner will come from one of these teams?

Last November Spain thrashed Germany 6:0 and everybody cried that Löw was a loser and his team headless. Now they have the best mid-field and Spain is the weakest you remember for quite a while. We shall see.
My hunch: Spain will go far, Portugal won’t. The Netherlands are stronger than they look. France is an enigma, Bencema could make the difference or break the team. Italy will play badly and make it at least to the semifinals with lots of VAR. Germany wins :unamused: Six statements, I hope the last two are wrong (France is not a statement, I am having it both ways there so it does not count as a prediction, right?).

I also called Spain fearsome. They have had such a ridiculously high standard over the last few tournaments. They could easily go all the way.

I’m tipping Belgium though for the tournament so watch them crash and burn.

OK, I will not bet for Belgium then. Thanks for the tip :wink:
And Spain… let’s wait and see. Is the fact that Busquets got Covid and can’t play the first games or perhaps none at all a good or a bad thing for the team?

There are plenty of teams that are strong enough to win it and the result not be a surprise, which should make for a good tournament. I think France is easily the strongest on paper, but not so overwhelming that they can’t lose.

I like France, with Belgium next, and Portugal as a dark horse.

France is loaded with talent and have the pedigree from having proven themselves in the last WC. This is basically the same team. Plus, Kante (who IIRC was excluded from the last Euro final (can’t remember if he was injured) which they lost).

Belgium looks to be 2nd in total talent and have also proven that they can gel as a unit. Hopefully De Bruyne recovers from his injury in time.

And I feel like Ronaldo and Bruno could create some magic (although they didn’t show anything spectacular in the 30 minutes they played together in the friendly vs. Spain).

I guess Germany will need to repeat their last WC performance if both France and Portugal are to move past the group stage.

Sorry, realized that all 3 can move past the group stage.

In fact, that’s how Portugal won last time around. They finished third behind Iceland and Hungary, but advanced on 3rd place tiebreakers.

I’m not sure why people are so high on Portugal. They won in 2016 using smoke and mirrors. They advanced out of the group stage with three draws, against Hungary, Iceland, and Austria. They led for a total of 19 minutes in those three matches.
Then they got a 117th minute goal to sneak past Croatia. Penalties to get past Poland. Heading into the semifinal, they led for a total of 22 minutes and won a single game outright (in extra time).
An easy win against Wales in the semis, and a scrappy extra time win in the final. They showed a lot of heart, but they were far from overwhelming. I seriously doubt they can get as many breaks this time around. And Ronaldo is not getting younger.

Portugal has world class players throughout their lineup, including a midfield which is the match for anyone. Bruno Fernandes, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota, all are big timers and they’ve added Ruben Dias to central defense, a weak spot in 2016. I don’t expect them to win it again but they are a team very much in the mix.

They won the Euro League or whatever too. I completely agree that 2016 was a fluke. They weren’t even good in that tournament, let alone the best team there. However, their talent is undeniable. In addition to those Red_Wiggler mentioned: Joao Cancelo, Andre Silva (29 goals in 34 games this year!), Joao Felix, Ruben Neves, Raphael Guerreiro are all damn good. Their central midfield is probably soft compared to France or Germany, but I think they’re a better team this time around than last time.

I would be much more surprised if a team dominates en route to a Euro trophy than I would be by a team surviving several narrow escapes as Portugal did in '16. The field is loaded with strong squads and there will be landmines at every stage.

On paper you’ve got to like France for the obvious reasons. But they will be seriously challenged in every knockout round. We footy fans know all too well that shit can happen.

First game is two days away. Can’t wait. Predictions from the SD howling mob?

I mostly watch Premier League so I’m certainly susceptible to confirmation bias but I like the England squad better than the one that reached the semis in the last World Cup (yeah, I remember the kind draw).

Solid defending in Stones, Maguire, Shaw and Walker, Declan Rice and Mason Mount providing cover in front of the back four, Raheem Stirling, Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford just behind Harry Kane. Lots of solid depth, Jadon Sancho could possibly start ahead of Stirling and I’m anxious to see what Jack Grealish can do surrounded by world class talent.

On paper I think they’re the second strongest team there. I’m probably guilty of this too, but I think there’s a fair bit of “the boy who cried wolf” about it being England’s year. That, and outside Kane, their attack wasn’t in great form at the end of the season.

I’m going to be rooting for England, even though they definitely need to stop ‘taking the knee.’ That seems to be the main story on most U.K. web sites and blogs.

One more sleep till Football Fan Easter!

(With the World Cup being Christmas)

I admire the English players for demonstrating against racism.

Just learned that if England wins its group, their first knockout opponent will most likely be one of France, Germany or Portugal.