With the Football Season wrapping up, it is time for the European national team tournament that should of happened last year.
How to Watch
Like normal national tournaments, they are on free TV in the UK (either ITV or BBC). In the group stages, they will be sometimes even 3 games a day. Running from the 11th June to the 11th of July – this will take up a month of evenings for the avid fan.
For those of us, not a big fan of football but want to watch the England Team/ or avoid the big England games for some reason – there are some key dates to remember.
England Group Stage –
- vs Croatia Sunday 13th June
- vs Scotland Friday 18th June
- vs Czech Republic Tuesday 22nd June
There are so many knockout variations, we will leave the fixtures there. Our best advice is to check out an official fixture list once these games have been played to see what days to be aware of.
Predictions and Thoughts of other Groups
Group A – Switzerland, Turkey, Wales and Italy.
Italy – With Italy being the home team in Rome and being the biggest team of the four, we cannot look past them winning the group.
The remaining three teams have not got many star quality players (with most of them aging out of the squads) and have rely on players playing abroad – which also has an effect.
We predict Switzerland in 2nd, with Wales in 3rd and Turkey in 4th.
Group B – Russia, Belgium, Denmark and Finland
Battle of the colder countries (and Belgium). Belgium are the biggest name of this group and have one of the deepest star studded teams of the tournament. The matches in this part of the draw are in Moscow, Copenhagen and St Petersburg – so this will have an effect but Belgium should go through in first.
It will be tough to predict with the remaining 3, all are average squads with some bigger names keeping them going. We go for Denmark 2nd, Russia 3rd and Finland 4TH.
Group C – Austria, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Netherlands
Netherlands are the sleeping giants, after not qualifying for a few tournaments. They will be on a big march for the trophy and should smash this group easily.
Our thoughts are that it will be a close battle between Austria and Ukraine for second, with Austria just beating Ukraine. Then North Macedonia finishing bottom of the group, they may of beat Germany in a friendly but in tournament play it will be a different story.
Group D – Scotland, England, Croatia and Czech Republic
In our research into the squads more, this looks to be a tough group for all the teams. England have picked their squad badly with key positions of Keeper, Striker and Centre Mid lacking depth. Croatia have their key players out of form. Czech Republic and Scotland do not really have a star quality player they can rely upon to get them out of a hole.
So based on performances and expectations, we predict Croatia to win the group, England in Second, Scotland to surprise people into 3rd and Czech Republic 4th.
Group E – Poland, Spain, Sweden and Slovakia
Again, Spain being the big star studded name in this group, we cannot look past them for this group winner. It will likely be a toss up between Poland and Sweden for second spot. Both Poland and Sweden have good young squads with a few key stars that can carry them through. Slovakia unfortunately will just make up the numbers.
Prediction – Spain top, Sweden 2nd, Poland 3rd with Slovakia 4th.
Group F – Portugal, France, Germany and Hungary
This is the group of death. Every tournament draw has one, all are tough games and anyone could get out of it (barring Hungary). Portugal, France and Germany are all top quality teams with their countries expectations to win the entire thing.
Looking at the 26 man squad selections, we predict Portugal will surprise a few people and get first, With Germany just beating France into 2nd, then Hungary last.
Groups 3rd Place Rule
With their only being 6 groups, the 4 best 3rd placed teams qualify for the Knockouts. So for our prediction – Wales, Russia, Ukraine, Scotland, Poland and France.
We predict – Wales, Russia, Ukraine, Scotland.
This is based on them picking up more points/goals against their group opposition compared to the other 2. We picked a few surprises because we think others will slip up.
To get all the way to the final will be a difficult doing for any team. Using the official UEFA prediction tool (click here), we had a look at the possible permutations. There is not much chance England will get far in this tournament with the easiest route being – Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Spain.
We predict – Portugal to beat Spain in the Final.
Portugal may rely on Ronaldo but have good quality players surrounding him – unlike previous years. Most of the squad are in its prime and should be a good team to win. The team that finishes top of Group F has the easiest Knockout draw and we picked Portugal.