Euro 2020 - Tournament Analysis
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The continental tournament may be taking place a year later, but that has turned out to be a boon for most teams. Most players have gotten a year older, stronger and better. It has also given managers more time to think about their way of playing and their starting line-up. The format for this years event is similar to the one of 2016 where the best four 3rd place teams go through to the knockouts along with the top 2 in every group.




This tournament has to be one of the most awaited tournaments and also one which is difficult to call compared to the previous ones due to the quality of teams and also the dark horses may spring a surprise or two.

Over the course of the last year (original schedule for the Euros), one would have to say Portugal have benefitted the most from the break, whereas the Dutch have regressed quite heavily under new management. Roberto Mancini has transformed Italy into a serious team in that time too. No doubts France will start as the favourites but look out for England and Belgium who will look to win their first piece of silverware in a long time.




In the group stages, watch out for Group F with three heavyweights in France, Germany and Portugal locking horns in the group of death. Having said that, do not sleep on Hungary who are more than capable of springing a surprise.




Fixtures to look out for-




England v Scotland- The British derby. England have historically have had the upper hand, but this Scottish side is not short of competitors. Add to that the political developments in Scotland wanting to separate from the United Kingdom, it promises to be a spicy affair.




Germany v Portugal- The group of death has three heavy weights clash against each other. The 2014 World Champions against the defending European champions is a contest nobody wants to miss. The Germans do look weaker than usual this time around but Jochim Low would want to fare well in his swansong.




France v Germany- A footballing rivalry that just keeps on giving. France, the defending world champions against their predecessors. Without doubt the most intense game of the group stages.




Portugal v France- Two of the tournament favourites going head to head in the group stages itself. Not to mention France will have some unfinished business against the Iberian nation who pipped them to the title in 2016.

 


Players to look out for-




Cristiano Ronaldo- No tournament this man plays in can ignore the modern day legend that is Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal’s man for all seasons, this time out however has loads of support from his team who are not short of talent. However, Portugal will look to their talisman to deliver the goods when it matters.




Harry Kane- The 2018 World Cup Golden boot winner will be key up top for England who are looking to win their first tournament since their 1966 World Cup triumph. Harry Kane finished the league top of the assists and goalscoring charts and would love to replicate that at the international level. The only difference he’d want is to be standing with the trophy at the end of the tournament.




Kai Havertz- The Champions League winner faced quite a bit of scrutiny in the first part of the season but has since then, turned it around under Thomas Tuchel. Germany will look to him for that creative spark which has been left missing since the days of Mesut Ozil. 




Kevin de Bruyne- One of the best, if not the best midfielder of this era will look to lead Belgium to their first piece of silverware this summer. With Lukaku and Hazard in support, the Premier League player of the season will have to play a massive part if Belgium are to better their 3rd place finish at the World Cup in 2018.




Karim Benzema- A return to international football after 6 years will have Karim Benzema wanting to help France lift the trophy that eluded them in Paris 5 years ago. The Real Madrid forward enjoyed a fruitful season with the Los Blancos but missed a penalty on his return to the French side. With Mbappe and Griezmann alongside Pogba, the French forward forms an attack which can take apart any defence on their day.




Frenkie De Jong- The Dutch will miss Virgil van Dijk in their defence and they do not look the exciting team they once were, but Frenkie de Jong can prove to be the light at the end of the tunnel for the Oranje. Can he power the Dutch to a respectable finish this summer?





Gianluigi Donnarumma- Don’t sleep on the Italians this time around. Mancini has transformed the Azzurri into a force to reckon with this summer and at right at the base of their team stands Gianluigi Donnarumma. The goalkeeper with a big future ahead of him as already proven to be an important player for the Italians and will no doubt play a big part in this year’s tournament as well.

 

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