The Europeans Are Coming!

by Ben Burns

by Ben Burns

Better late than never! Thanks to the pandemic, Euro 2020 will be played in 2021. Starting June 11th and going for a month, 24 teams will do battle across 12 host cities. 

How Did They Get Here?
The top two teams from each of the 10 groups qualified. The four remaining positions were settled in the play-offs. Scotland beat Serbia in a penalty shootout. 

What Do The Groups Look Like?
This year's "Group Of Death" pits Germany, France and Portugal against each other. Poor Hungary. Remember, teams play each of the other three in their group. Top two from each group. advance to the knockout stage. Complete listings below:

Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland 
Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia
Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia
Group D: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic
Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia
Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany

Who's Expected To Win?
Believe it, or not, England is actually the current favorite to hoist the Henri Delaunay Cup. It helps to be in a group with Scotland and the Czech Republic, two of the weaker teams in the tournament. The top 10 favorites, courtesy of Pinnacle, are below:
England +394
Belgium +520 
France +520 
Spain +623
Germany +726 
Netherlands +726
Italy +1036 
Portugal +1036
Croatia +2586
Ukraine +5168

Any Longshots To Keep An Eye On?
At +7751, Switzerland is well worth a look. They should finish ahead of Wales and Turkey in Group A and then anything is possible. I've had the pleasure of visiting Switzerland a couple of times and always remember being very impressed by their soccer program. My son played in some tournaments in Italy and Switzerland; he played on what was essentially a North American select team but they had their hands full. Anyway, if looking for a longshot, consider the Swiss. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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