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.
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 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?).
OK, I will not bet for Belgium then. Thanks for the tip
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.
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.