EURO 2020 Predictions – Due to the pandemic, the highly anticipated European Championship was postponed to 2021. Now, we are just one week away from watching the top national teams in Europe fight for the most coveted title in European football. Here are my predictions for which teams will come out of each group and then each matchup that would follow based on the previous prediction.
The clear favorites to win the group is Italy. They have been on an absolute tear as of late in both friendly and the UEFA Nations League matches. Italy have not dropped a game in 26 straight matches, the second longest winning streak in the history of the National team.
The Italian defense has always been rock solid and has been bolstered with the consistent play and leadership of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. The young midfielders will be able to really set the pace of each match and challenge other teams to keep up. Goals should not be a problem for the Italian forwards as captain Federico Bernardeschi leads the way for an incredible group of goal scorers.
The team to come in second could go to either of the remaining teams, however I think that there is one team to look out for, Turkey. Their defense and midfield are very underrated and can shut down any opposition regardless of who is playing. They play very well together and have great chemistry.
Another group that has clear favorites to win, Belgium looks to remain on its perfect run of form as they have won all 10 of their recent matches. They have been the top ranked team in the world for the past few years and although time is running out for their “golden generation” there is still a lot to look forward to in this tournament.
Kevin DeBruyne is one of the few players that has been in the headlines as of late, due to his recent injury suffered in the UEFA Champions League final. He is expected to return to the squad in time for their opener. Another player to look out for, who was superb in the 2018 World Cup, is Eden Hazard. Ever since his transfer to Real Madrid he has not been in form and would be questionable to start in this tournament.
I think that there is really only one team that is capable of coming in second in this group and it is Denmark. Not only will they have home-field advantage with fans being in the stadiums for their group stage games, but they are also in great form as of late and have developed their attackers much better than their EURO2016 stint.
One of the weaker groups drawn in this tournament, group C is headlined by the probable winners, the Netherlands. They are the strongest team depth wise and the most in form as of right now.
The Netherlands are coming into this tournament having missed both EURO2016 and the 2018 World Cup, their longest streak of missing major tournaments since the 1980’s.
Players like Gini Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong, and Memphis Depay will be integral to the team’s success in this tournament. A big part of their defense, Virgil van Dijk, ruled himself out because of his ACL rehabilitation that he is experiencing.
It is quite difficult to know who will be second in the group because of how close all of the remaining teams are in terms of playstyle and ability. However, I think that Ukraine has a really good shot at making it through into the knockouts stages.
Things are looking good for this team as of late, this is the first time that they have qualified for the European Championship on their own. They previously were participants in 2012 because they were co-hosts and won the play-off to gain access in 2016.
One of the more intriguing groups offers two teams that faced off in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, Croatia and England. I believe that England will get the better hand this time around and finish first in the group.
England’s skipper Gareth Southgate faced much criticism in regards to his selection for the squad. Such as selecting 4 right-backs, calling up a 17 year old player, and blending the team into a new and younger group of individuals.
Harry Kane, the Premier League Golden Boot winner, will be the go-to man for England yet again. If he is able to replicate his performance from the 2018 World Cup, there is no doubt that this team can make a very deep run and possibly win it all.
Midfielder Mason Mount is coming off an incredible UEFA Champions League season where he helped Chelsea lift the trophy. He headlines the new, younger group of players that will be making their first major tournament appearance for the team.
There is really only one right answer for who will come second in this group, and it is the World Cup runner-ups, Croatia. They fell out of form directly following the World Cup, but really picked it up during the latter half of EURO2020 qualifiers.
Led by Croatian football legend, Luka Modric, this team will be looking towards their always dominant midfield attack to win. Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Perisic will be players to watch as they will be picking up key roles now that long time player Ivan Rakitic recently retired from international play.
It is without a doubt that Spain will win this group, simply because of their talent and recent form. They also have had massive success this century in the European tournament and will look to replicate this success.
Sergio Ramos is one of the most important figures in Spanish football, but he will not be able to play this tournament as he was left out of the squad list. Suffering from poor form due to injury, the captain will not be able to extend his international caps streak.
What I am most interested in about this group is who will finish second and third. My prediction as of right now is for Poland to finish second and for Sweden to finish third. Poland is led by Robert Lewandowski, one of the most prolific goal scorers this generation. I think that his form and leadership will be enough to squeak past Sweden.
Finally, the group that everyone will be having their eyes on is the hardest to predict. France, Germany, and Portugal are the three teams that will probably finish atop the group. While it is hard to predict who will finish in what spots, I think that I have a general idea.
I think that France will finish atop the group because of their recent form and momentum following the 2018 World Cup. Kylian Mbappe and N’golo Kante are two men who I think will be integral in this team’s success.
Next, I think that Germany will pull through and redeem themselves for the poor performance in the World Cup, where they did not make it out of the group stage. They have veteran presence in Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels, however I think that the most important player on the squad is Timo Werner. If he can finally get in form this year, I think that Germany has a real good shot at winning the entire tournament
Although Portugal are the defending Euro Champions, I think that they have taken a step back in regards to form but should not be overlooked. They still have the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo and if we have learned anything from watching his career, it is that anything is possible with him on the pitch.
Round of 16
The format for the knockout stages in the EURO2020 is something unique and quite difficult to understand. But short story short, the top 2 teams in each group advance and 4 of the best 3rd place teams will advance as well. Here are my predictions for each game based on my previous reasoning.
Belgium vs Portugal:
This game would be very interesting to see as both teams have incredibly potent offensive attacks. However, I think that Belgium is the better team all-around and they have proven it time and time again with their ranking.
Final Score: 3-2 Belgium
Italy vs Ukraine:
A lopsided game in my opinion, I think that Italy will have no problems with this Ukraine team and advance to the next round.
Final Score: 4-0 Italy
France vs Austria:
My personal favorites to win it all, France will have no issues with Austria with their incredible pace and goal scoring abilities all around the pitch. I find it very hard for any team to really compete with the speed of Mbappe.
Final Score: 3-1 France
Croatia vs Poland:
It will be very hard to contain Lewandowski, but I think that the highly touted Croatian midfielders will be the X-factor in this match and will be enough to fuel them past Poland.
Final Score: 1-0 Croatia
Spain vs Scotland:
Spain has the upper hand here against a Scotland team that does not have enough firepower to be able to keep up with the European giants.
Final Score: 3-0 Spain
England vs Germany:
If this match were to happen, it would be the most entertaining round of 16 match this year. I think that England is very close to winning another major tournament, but I think that their youth will hurt them in this game.
Final Score: 2-2 (5-3 on pens) Germany
Netherlands vs Sweden:
I think that the high octane offense of the Netherlands and their incredibly gifted midfielders will be too much for Sweden to handle.
Final Score: 2-0 Netherlands
Turkey vs Denmark:
A close game that would be too hard to tell by looking at these teams on paper, I think that if their forms are good and they carry momentum from the group stage that either of these teams could win. Based on Turkey’s incredible defensive line I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
Final Score: 1-0 Turkey
Belgium vs Italy:
I think that Italy has been on an incredible run as of late in regards to their form and performances, but I do think that Belgium has the better team and will be able to win this game.
Final Score: 2-1 Belgium
France vs Croatia:
A rematch of the 2018 World Cup finals, these two teams facing off would be a must watch game. Just like 3 years ago, I think that France has too much skill at every position and would be too much for Luka Modric to overcome.
Final Score: 3-1 France
Spain vs Germany:
Two of the most powerful European teams this century have much young talent leading these teams this tournament. I think that the Spanish side has just a bit more experience and skill than Germany and will be able to push through in penalties.
Final Score: 1-1 (5-4 on pens) Spain
Netherlands vs Turkey
This is going to be an incredible game to watch, the strong Turkish defense trying to stop the underrated Dutch offense. I think over the course of 90 minutes that the old Turkey team will be tired out and the Netherlands will jump on them late in the game.
Final Score: 1-0 Netherlands
Italy vs France:
Italy and their incredible run of form will come to and against this formidable France team. France just has too much firepower at every position and will be able to get through the Italian defense.
Final Score: 3-1 France
Spain vs Netherlands
A rematch of the 2010 World Cup Final, I think that Spain will once again take down the Dutch in a close, hard fought match.
Final Score: 2-1 Spain
France vs Spain:
A matchup that many could possibly predict, I think that this will be one of the best EURO Finals we will ever see. There is just so much talent around these teams and it will be incredible to watch. At the end of the day I think that France redeems themselves for the EURO 2016 loss to Portugal.
Final Score: 2-0 France