Euro 2020 Day 11 Review

Denmark with the story of Euro 2020!

Group B

Russia 1 vs. 4 Denmark

It was a high stakes game as Russia took on Denmark in Copenhagen to decide who would reach the knockout stages by finishing 2nd. Denmark took the lead in the 38th minute as Damsgaard scored from outside the box to make it 0-1. Poulsen then scored in the 59th minute after a blunder from the Russian defence to make it 0-2 to Denmark. Dzyuba got one back for Russia in the 70th minute after he converted a penalty to make the score 1-2. Safonov made two brilliant saves in the 79th minute to deny Denmark but the 3rd chance came to Christensen as he hammered a shot from outside the box to make it 1-3 and send the stadium into jubilation. Maehle then made it 1-4 on the counter in the 82nd minute to seal a massive win for the Danes and with that 2nd place. Russia’s goal difference took a massive hit as they finished bottom of the group. Denmark’s goal difference received a massive boost which helped them finish 2nd in the group and get a place in the Round of 16. A brilliant story for them and long may it continue in this tournament. 

Finland 0 vs. 2 Belgium

Finland were there defensively tough selves and for much of the game it looked like they would finish in 2nd thanks to a draw. Belgium’s quality was at another level though and they eventually broke the Finnish resolve. Lukaku had the ball in the net initially but it was ruled offside. Hradecky then scored an own goal as the ball hit him and went inside which gave Belgium the lead in the 74th minute. Lukaku then made it 2 in the 81st minute to seal the win for the group leaders. Belgium join Italy and Netherlands in winning all 3 games in their group. Finland finish 3rd on goal difference but probably won’t be one of the 4 best placed 3rd teams. A solid first outing for them though if it is good bye for now. 

Group C

Ukraine 0 vs. 1 Austria

Baumgartner scored the only goal of the game in the 21st minute as Austria sealed the win and booked a place in the Round of 16 with a 2nd placed finish. Ukraine finish 3rd in the group and maybe could just edge into the Round of 16 but it will depend on how the other groups end up. A slight glimmer of hope for the Ukrainians massive for Austria who finally manage to get out of the group stage at a Euro’s. 

North Macedonia 0 vs. 3 Netherlands

Depay scored in the 1st half while Wijnaldum scored two in the 2nd half to complete a comfortable win for Netherlands in their final group game and make it 3/3 for the Oranje. North Macedonia bow out with 0 points but they played brilliantly and fought hard in each of their games. Pandev played his last game and he will be remembered as a legend by all in the footballing community. North Macedonia have talent and we will see more of them in the future. Netherlands are through though and looking quite good. 

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Euro 2020 Day 11 Preview

Which two teams will join Netherlands and Belgium?

Group B

Russia vs. Denmark

It’s a massive game for Denmark as they take on Russia. Russia sit 2nd in the group on goal difference while Denmark are bottom of the group and winless with a -2 goal difference. A win for Russia takes them into the next round while a draw is enough if Finland draw or lose. Denmark have to win this game by 2 goals and if Finland lose to Belgium then the Danes should finish 2nd. Considering what Denmark have gone through in these Euro’s it would be great to see them pull of a final day qualification. A massive game. 

Finland vs. Belgium

Finland sit 3rd in the group as they take on Belgium who have already qualified. Belgium though have not sealed top spot in the group so they have to draw or win for that to happen. A win for Finland would be enough if Russia drop points while a draw could be enough if Russia lose. Finland have fought hard in their games and played well but Belgium showed how good they were against Denmark and they have enough quality for the 3 points. 

Group C

Ukraine vs. Austria

Ukraine and Austria are playing a game to see who finishes 2nd. A win for either team sends them into the Round of 16 while a draw would send Ukraine through. Austria have a 0 goal difference and a draw could be enough to send Austria through from 3rd. It’s looking good for both teams and a draw is the sensible result for both teams.

North Macedonia vs. Netherlands

North Macedonia sit bottom of the group and have a -3 goal difference as well. They would need to beat Netherlands by a minimum of 3 goals to stand any chance of going through. Netherlands are already through so there is no danger for them. North Macedonia will give it their all for sure and they will fight but I think it’s going to be curtains for them in this tournament. 

Euro 2020 Day 7 Review

Belgium and Netherlands join the Round of 16!

Group B

Denmark 1 vs. 2 Belgium

It was a big game for both teams as Belgium looked to reach the Round of 16 and Denmark looked to bounce back from the first game. Denmark took the lead in the 2nd minute as Poulsen scored to make it 1-0. Denmark had several chances in the 1st half and easily should have made it 3 or 4 nil. Belgium rode their luck and replied back in the 2nd half as De Bruyne came on at half time. Lukaku did brilliantly to drive down the right hand side and cut back for De Bruyne who laid the ball off for Thorgan Hazard who equalised in the 54th minute. Eden Hazard was then brought on to cause more havoc. Once again Lukaku did brilliantly to hold the ball and play it into the box as Hazard found De Bruyne who shot past Schmiechel to make it 1-2 in the 70th minute. There were more chances on both sides as Denmark hit the post late on and Belgium saw some counters stopped. Belgium gained the 3 points though as they book a place in the Round of 16. Denmark sit bottom of the group with 0 points but still have a chance to reach the next round. It all depends on what happens in the final round of games. 

Group C

Ukraine 2 vs. 1 North Macedonia

Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk scored in this game to give Ukraine the lead in the 1st half. North Macedonia replied back as Alioski had his penalty saved but converted the rebound in the 57th minute. Ukrainian keeper Bushchan had to make several top saves in the 2nd half to keep Ukraine’s lead and it’s mainly due to him that North Macedonia didn’t get a point or more. Ukraine move into 2nd on goal difference while North Macedonia remain bottom of the group. Mathematically North Macedonia still have a chance but they would need a massive swing in fortune. 

Netherlands 2 vs. 0 Austria

Depay scored a penalty in the 11th minute while Dumfries scored the 2nd in the 67th minute as Netherlands won comfortably against Austria. Netherlands secure a place in the Round of 16 while Austria sit 3rd in the group. The final game between Ukraine and Austria seems to have set up nicely as the winner will be heading into the Round of 16.

Euro 2020 Day 7 Preview

Heating up!

Group B

Denmark vs. Belgium

A win for Belgium would secure a place in the Round of 16 as their goal difference should be good enough to see them through. Denmark go into this game having had some time to recover from the Eriksen collapse. Hopefully the Danes have their game faces back on because this is a must win game. A win would open the group right up and take matters to the final day. Denmark could still go through with a loss but it would require quite a few things to go their way on the final day. A big game for the Danes. 

Group C

Ukraine vs. North Macedonia

The two teams that lost in the opening round. It’s a must win game for both teams. Ukraine and North Macedonia both played well in their respective games so this should be quite entertaining. Ukraine would be favourites in terms of the quality they have but Macedonia have shown plenty of fight. A win for either team would take them into the fight for the first two places while a loss for either team would all but end their Euro journey. 

Netherlands vs. Austria

A win for either team in this game would get them a place in the Round of 16. They got big wins in their first games and are the two favourites to go through to the next round. The loser in this game would be in a fight for 2nd depending on the result in the other game. Netherlands have a better squad but this should be a cracking game. Netherlands for sure scored goals but they lacked defensively while Austria also scored a few. Hopefully it’s a similar game to Netherlands vs. Ukraine.

Euro 2020 Day 3 Review

Started with a murmur but ending with a bang!

Group C

Austria 3 vs. 1 North Macedonia

Stefan Lainer opened the scoring for Austria in the 18th minute after a brilliant ball from Sabitzer was volleyed in at the far post. The lead was short lived though as the one and only Goran Pandev scored in the 28th minute to bring North Macedonia back into the game. It was only fitting that the country’s legend scored their first goal at a Euro. Strength in depth paid off for Austria though as a brilliant ball from Alaba found Gregoritsch in the box and he gave Austria the lead in the 78th minute. Arnautovic made it 3 in the 89th minute as Austria got a solid win. It was an entertaining game and North Macedonia might have lost but they for sure will give it their all in this tournament, some brilliant passages of play from the debutants. 

Netherlands 3 vs. 2 Ukraine

This was the last game of the day but the best so far the tournament has seen. The first half saw an end to end game and both goalkeepers had to make some brilliant saves to keep their teams in the game. The 2nd half saw all the goals as Wijnaldum gave Netherlands the lead in the 52nd minute. Weghorst then made it 2-0 in the 58th minute. Ukraine bounced back as Yarmolenko scored a brilliant goal from outside the box in the 75th minute. Yaremchuk then scored a header to equalise for Ukraine in the 79th minute. Netherlands were not done though and in Amsterdam Dumfries scored in the 85th minute to give his country the 3 points. Netherlands got the win but they have to solve their defensive issues while Ukraine might have lost but they have plenty to fight for in their group. The best game yet. 

Group D

England 1 vs. 0 Croatia

This game didn’t really live up to the hype. The only goal came in the 57th minute as Sterling scored after some brilliant work by Phillips to get England 3 points at Wembley. Croatia were very poor and their players didn’t live up to their reputations. Southgate made some big mistakes with the lineup but got the win. England have relatively easier fixtures now and so do Croatia and I still expect the Croats to progress to the next round. Kalvin Phillips, Rice, and Mount were particularly good in the midfield. 

Euro 2020 Day 3 Preview

Can England start of with a win?

Group C

Austria vs. North Macedonia

Austria are one of the 3 favourites to qualify from the group along with Ukraine and Netherlands. North Macedonia are making their debut at the Euro’s and similar to Finland they can cause an upset but no one really expects it. Austria go into this game having lost one and drawn one of their friendlies while North Macedonia have drawn one and won one. On paper Austria should be winning this game as they have the quality but North Macedonia can take encouragement from Finland’s performance yesterday and will feel that they have a chance. 

Netherlands vs. Ukraine

The favourites from the group take on one of the contenders as Netherlands play Ukraine. Netherlands go into this game having drawn one and won one of their friendlies while Ukraine have drawn one and won two of their friendlies. Netherlands for sure have more quality available to them but Ukraine have been consistent under Shevchenko and have a real unity in their squad. I feel that this will be an open game and both sides will have a good chance of getting 3 points. Netherlands will be favourites though.

Group D

England vs. Croatia

Two top contenders for the tournament go head to head in this game as they play a replay of the World Cup game from 3 years ago. England have a rejuvenated squad from 3 years ago with arguably more quality but maybe not as skilled of a manager. Croatia have the experience and quality on the pitch to cause damage in any game. England won both their friendlies with a solitary goal. Croatia drew one and lost one. With England it’s very much of a situation of what lineup Southgate picks. He can pick a lineup based on merit which would see players like Grealish, Sancho, or Foden start on the wings or he can go with sentiment and pick Rashford or Sterling. Croatia are a much more stable team in that they have worked under Zlatko Dalic and done well. England have the potential to actually play well and do well in these Euro’s whether they are allowed to is a different question while Croatia have a chance of actually winning something with what is arguably a golden generation.

Euro 2020 Group C Preview

Another open group!

Austria

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History

Austria will be taking part in their 3rd Euro’s this summer. They made their debut in 2008 and then played in 2016. In both of their previous competitions they have failed to get past the group stage. They are ranked 23rd in the FIFA rankings. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Alexander Schlager (LASK), Pavao Pervan (Wolfsburg), Daniel Bachmann (Watford)

Defenders – Andreas Ulmer (Red Bull Salzburg), Aleksandar Dragovic (Red Star Belgrade), Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt), Stefan Posch (Hoffenheim), David Alaba (Real Madrid), Philipp Lienhart (Freiburg), Christopher Trimmel (Union Berlin), Stefan Lainer (Monchengladbach), Marco Friedl (Werder Bremen)

Midfielders – Stefan Ilsanker (Eintracht Frankfurt), Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim), Julian Baumgartlinger (Bayer Leverkusen), Louis Schaub (Luzern), Alessandro Schopf (Schalke), Christoph Baumgartner (Hoffenheim), Valentino Lazaro (Monchengladbach), Xaver Schlager (Wolfsburg), Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig)

Forwards – Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai), Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig), Michael Gregoritsch (Augsburg), Karim Onisiwo (Mainz), Sasa Kalajdzic (Stuttgart) 

Manager – Franco Foda

Most Caps – Aleksandar Dragovic (90)

Captain – Julian Baumgartlinger

Star Player – David Alaba

Austria find themselves in an open group and have a good chance of finishing in the top 3 positions and getting into the knockout stage. Alaba, Baumgartlinger, Lazaro, Laimer, Aranautovic, and Sabitzer are all players I am familiar with. I back them to get out of the group stage but anything beyond that would require some serious hard work.

Netherlands

History

Netherlands will be taking part in their 10th Euros this summer. The Orange made their debut in 1976 and won the Euro’s in 1988. They failed to qualify for the Euros in 2016 so this is more of a welcome back to one of the better teams in Europe. The Dutch are ranked 14th in the world.

Team

Goalkeepers – Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Tim Krul (Norwich City), Marco Bizot (AZ Alkmaar)

Defenders – Joel Veltman (Brighton), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Nathan Ake (Man City), Owen Wijndal (AZ Alkmaar), Stefan de Vrij (Inter), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Daley Blind (Ajax), Denzel Dumfries (PSV Eindhoven), Jurrien Timber (Ajax)

Midfielders – Georginio Wijnaldum (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Marten De Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Donny van de Beek (Man United), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards – Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven), Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg), Cody Gakpo (PSV Eindhoven)

Manager – Frank De Boer 

Most Caps – Georginio Wijnaldum (74)

Captain – Georginio Wijnaldum

Star Player – Memphis Depay 

Netherlands might be missing Virgil van Dijk at the back but apart from that they have a strong team all over the pitch. Tim Krul is an amazing goalkeeper supported by a defence with some big names like de Ligt, Veltman, Ake, Wijndal, de Vrij, and van Aanholt. Not to mention Daley Blind who is an experienced player now. In the midfield they have a mix of creativity and fight. Wijnaldum, Klaasen, De Roon, Gravenberch, van de Beek, de Jong, and Koopmeiners are all top class players and sought after in Europe. Up front Berghuis is wonderful forward along with the likes of de Jong who is more experienced. Depay will be the star man in the forward lines but Malen, Promes, and Weghorst are people to keep an eye on. I think Netherlands will top this group and they could be underdogs to progress further in the competition. 

North Macedonia

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History

North Macedonia are going to be taking part in their first tournament ever. They sit 65th in the world ranking and similar to Finland should be more than happy to make the tournament. I don’t expect much from them but they are part of a group where finishing 2nd or 3rd should not be totally out of question. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Stole Dimitrievski (Rayo Vallecano), Risto Jankov (Rabotnichki), Damjan Shishkovski (Doxa)

Defenders – Egzon Bejtulai (Shkendija), Gjoko Zajkov (Charleroi), Kire Ristevski (AEL), Visar Musliu (Fehervar), Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United), Stefan Ristovski (Dinamo Zagreb), Darko Velkovski (Rijeka)

Midfielders – Arijan Ademi (Dinamo Zagreb), Ferhan Hasani (Partizani), Tihomir Kostadinov (Ruzomberok), Boban Nikolov (Lecce), Enis Bardhi (Levante), Stefan Spirovski (AEK), Elif Elmas (Napoli), Marjan Radeski (Akademija Pandev), Daniel Avramovski (Kayserispor), Darko Churlinov (Stuttgart)

Forwards – Ivan Trichkovski (AEK), Aleksandar Trajkovski (Mallorca), Goran Pandev (Genoa), Vlatko Stojanovski (Chambly), Krste Velkoski (Sarajevo), Milan Ristovski (Spartak Trnava) 

Manager – Igor Angelovski

Most Caps – Goran Pandev (119)

Captain – Goran Pandev

Star Player – Goran Pandev

When it comes to North Macedonia’s squad the only players I know or have heard of are Alioski, Bardhi, Elmas, and Goran Pandev. Pandev of course has been around for many seasons now mainly in Serie A. Bardhi and Elmas are upcoming talents in Europe while Alioski is a main stay in the Leeds team. North Macedonia can go into this competition without any pressure. Take every game as it is and then whatever they achieve at least they gave it their all. An exciting time for the country. 

Ukraine

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History

Ukraine are going to be taking part in their 3rd Euros this summer having qualified for the last two as well. They have failed to get past the group stage in both those tournaments though. Ukraine are ranked 24th in the world and have some decent talent in their squad. 

Team 

Goalkeeper – Heorhiy Bushchan (Dynamo Kyiv), Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Anatoliy Trubin (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Defenders – Eduard Sobol (Club Brugge), Serhiy Kryvtsov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Illya Zabarnyi (Dynamo Kyiv), Vitaliy Mykolenko (Dynamo Kyiv), Oleksandr Karavayev (Dynamo Kyiv), Mykola Matviyenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Oleksandr Tymchyk (Dynamo Kyiv), Denys Popov (Dynamo Kyiv)

Midfielders – Heorhiy Sudakov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Serhiy Sydorchuk (Dynamo Kyiv), Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham), Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta), Mykola Shaparenko (Dynamo Kyiv), Marlos (Shakhtar Donetsk), Yevhenii Makarenko (Kortrijk), Viktor Tsyhankov (Dynamo Kyiv), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Man City), Roman Bezus (Gent), Oleksandr Zubkov (Ferencvaros) 

Forwards – Roman Yaremchuk (Gent), Artem Besyedin (Dynamo Kyiv), Artem Dovbyk (Dnipro) 

Manager – Andriy Shevchenko

Most Caps – Andriy Pyatov (96)

Captain – Andriy Pyatov 

Star Player – Andriy Yarmolenko

This Ukraine squad has done really well under Shevchenko since he became their manager. Consistent would be the word I associate with them. Pyatov has been a main stay at the back and is one of the better goalkeepers in the tournament. When it comes to the rest of the squad I know Yarmolenko, Zinchenko, Marlos and Yaremchuk. It’s an interesting squad and along with Netherlands and Austria I feel they will be challenging for those top 3 spots. The next step for Ukraine would be to reach the knockout stages. 

World Cup Day 12 Review

Argentina make it to the next round.

Group C

Australia 0 vs. 2 Peru

Carrillo and Guerrero scored in each home in what was a dominant performance by the Peruvians. Australia seemed that like they were resigned to go home and did not show up for the game. Peru played well and finally managed to win, both teams now go home one with a sour taste in their mouth while the other goes home with a win to remember. 

Denmark 0 vs. 0 France

The first nil nil draw of this World Cup and as the scoreline suggest their was nothing to talk about. If you are a Chelsea fan then Christensen did play in a defensive midfield role adding another position he can play at for the club.

Group D

Nigeria 1 vs. 2 Argentina

Football is cruel and in several cases the teams that are lucky go through as to the teams that deserved to win. Argentina played poorly in their first two games but thanks to Nigeria they remained in contention for qualification. Argentina used their chance and now go through to the next round while Nigeria go home. Messi scored in the 14th minute to give Argentina the lead, but Moses converted a penalty in the 51st minute to send Nigerian fans into raptures. It seemed that Nigeria would be going through but Rojo scored in the 86th minute to send Argentina into the next round. 

Iceland 1 vs. 2 Croatia

Croatia opened the score in the second half after Badelj gave his team the lead, Sigurdsson converted a penalty to level the score. Iceland had been playing well and a draw seemed like a fair enough result for both teams but Perisić finished in the 90th minute to give Croatia their third win of the group stage and send Iceland home with only a point to their name. 

World Cup Day 12 Preview

Who qualifies from Group D?

Group C

Australia vs. Peru

Australia need the win if they want to stand a chance of making it to the knockout rounds while Peru can only fight for their pride. Three points would take Australia to second only if Denmark lose and Australia have a better goal difference. A win for Peru would send them home with something good while also taking them above Australia into third. Peru have shown their quality at times but Australia should have the experience to see this game through. 

Denmark vs. France

With France having already qualified for the knockout stage this game could potentially decide whether they finish second or first. A win for France would take them clear of the rest while a draw would be enough to see them finish first as well, a loss would mean that they would finish behind Denmark in second. A win and a draw would be enough for Denmark but a loss could see them miss the knockout stage but only if Australia win by a good margin.

Group D

Nigeria vs. Argentina

Nigeria go into this game knowing that a win would guarantee them a place in the knockout stages while a draw and a loss could potentially not be enough. Argentina have been so far in the tournament and this game is a chance for Messi and Co to achieve some sort of redemption. Due to results in the previous match week a win for the Argentinians could shockingly see them make it to the knockout stages but only if Iceland drew or lost. It is a tight game and a win will be the priority for both teams but Argentina will have to be the team that comes out and attacks. 

Iceland vs. Croatia

Iceland were spectacular in their first game against Argentina but fell flat against Nigeria, they go into this game needing a win if they want to stand a chance of qualification. An Iceland win and a Nigeria loss would send Iceland through but a draw for Nigeria would mean that the team with the better goal difference would go through. Croatia demolished Nigeria and Argentina and will be looking to make it three out of three in the group stage. Having already qualified and sealed top spot it is a good chance for the Croats to rest a few players. Iceland will have to attack while Croatia can wait and play on the counter. 

World Cup Day 7 Review

Argentina in trouble!

Group C

Denmark 1 vs. 1 Australia

Eriksen scored in the 7th minute to give Denmark the lead but a hand ball by Poulsen allowed Jedinak to convert a penalty in the 38th minute and equalise for the Socceroos. The game was a cagey affair, Denmark remain second with four points while Australia are third with one point. 

France 1 vs. 0 Peru

Mbappé scored in the 34th minute in what was a lacklustre performance by the french. Peru are knocked out of the World Cup but restricted the French to one goal. France need to improve ahead of the knockout stages if they want to progress further in the competition. 

Group D

Argentina 0 vs. 3 Croatia

After a very physical first half Rebić, Modrić, and Rakitić added second half goals to create a very narrow chance of Argentina’s qualification to the knockout stages. Argentina have a team full of stars but weird team selection by Sampaoli and a refusal to gel as a team could see them get knocked out of the group stage. Croatia are through to the knockout rounds and could be dark horses for the World Cup, Argentina seem to look like they are England’s golden age in disguise, all stars but no chemistry.