Euro 2020 Day 13 Review

Lived up to the hype!

Group E

Sweden 3 vs. 2 Poland

Forsberg scored within 2 minutes to give Sweden the lead. Forsberg then doubled the lead in the 59th minute. Lewandowski responded back with a goal in the 61st minute and Lewandowski equalised for Poland in the 84th minute. It was Sweden though who grabbed the winner as Claesson scored in the 93rd minute. Sweden go through to the next round having topped the group while Poland finish bottom of the group and are knocked out. 

Slovakia 0 vs. 5 Spain

Slovakia had to win or draw or at the very least not lose heavily but neither of those things worked out for them. Spain were rampant in this must win game. Morata missed an initial penalty after which Dubravka scored an own goal and Laporte scored to give Spain a 0-2 lead at half time. Sarabia, Torres, and a Kucka own goal sealed the deal for Spain. Slovakia are knocked out of the Euro’s having not built on their initial win while Spain needing a win got it in emphatic fashion and finish 2nd. 

Group F

Portugal 2 vs. 2 France

This group must have changed hands at least 8 times during the course of 90 minutes as all the teams had a chance to go through. Portugal scored first as Ronaldo converted a penalty in the 30th minute. Benzema equalised for France with another penalty although this one was a bit of a farce. Benzema gave France the lead in the 47th minute but Ronaldo equalised for Portugal in the 60th minute via another penalty. The result meant that France finished as group leaders while Portugal finish 3rd on goal difference and reach the Round of 16. Neither team were in their best form though. 

Germany 2 vs. 2 Hungary

This game was a crazy one supported by the storm that fell upon on Munich. Hungary got the surprise lead in the 11th minute via Szalai. Germany were no where near their best and struggled to get shots on goal. Everyone felt like Germany would score but Hungary were not going to let them do it without suffering. Germany finally equalised in the 66th minute via Kai Havertz after the ball was knocked around in the box. Hungary instantly replied back as Schafer scored in the 68th minute to give Hungary the lead once again. Germany had to work again and Goretzka managed to equalise in the 84th minute. Germany then held on for the win. Germany go through in 2nd place while Hungary are knocked out. In a group with 3 of the best teams in the world it was Hungary who were the most consistent and they gave a proper go to all three teams. The Hungarian players can leave with their heads held up high.

 

Euro 2020 Day 13 Preview

Final day of the Group Stage!

Group E

Sweden vs. Poland

Sweden sit top of the group and regardless of the result should be through to the next round although in what position is yet to be seen. Poland are bottom of the group with a point and this is a must win game for them. A win for Poland would guarantee a place in the Round of 16 regardless of results elsewhere but anything other than a win and the Polish are out. 

Slovakia vs. Spain

Slovakia sit 2nd in the group with 3 points and a win or draw would be enough to see them reach the next round. A loss could potentially see Slovakia knocked out depending on results in other groups. Spain have to win this game if they want to qualify for the next round. A loss would see Spain get knocked out while a draw might not be enough. Pressure on Enrique and co to get the job done but unlike Sweden Slovakia also have to show up and perform. 

Group F

Portugal vs. France

Portugal sit 3rd in the group with 3 points and they need to get a win or draw to reach the Round of 16. France have 4 points and sit top of the group which means that they are through to the next round although it is yet to be seen where they finish. Neither team has performed at their maximum potential yet and this is a replay of the last Euro’s final. The game is going to take place in a full stadium in Hungary so the atmosphere will be great. Plenty of top players on show for both teams but pressure is very much on Ronaldo and co. 

Germany vs. Hungary

Germany sit 2nd in the group with 3 points and similar to Portugal a win or draw would guarantee them a place in the next round. Hungary sit bottom of the group with one point and have to win if they want to go through to the next round. A must not lose game for Germany while it’s a must win game for the Hungarians. The game is also happening in Munich so Germany will have the home advantage. All to play for in this group. 

Euro 2020 Day 9 Review

Germany won in great fashion but Hungary stole hearts on the day.

Group E

Spain 1 vs. 1 Poland

Morata gave Spain the lead in the 25th minute as he tapped in a cross from Moreno. Spain dominated the 1st half and had several chances to increase the lead but the finishing was lacking. Poland replied back in the 2nd half as Lewandowski rose highest to head in the equaliser in the 54th minute. In the 58th minute Moreno was brought down in the box and VAR gave Spain a penalty. Moreno stepped up and hit the post and Morata skied the rebound. Spain had several more chances to regain the lead but once again could not finish. Spain sit 3rd in the table after 2 draws as the finishing continues to cost them points. Poland have a point but remain bottom of the table. The group is wide open and nothing will be decided until the final round of games. 

Group F

Hungary 1 vs. 1 France

Hungary once again fought hard for 90 minutes and got their first points of the tournament but they arguably should have had 3. Hungary gained the lead right before half time as Fiola scored to make it 1-0. France equalised via Griezmann in the 66th minute after some sloppy defensive play by Hungary. France had many chances throughout the game to score but Benzema and Mbappe seemed to have left their finishing boots in France. Hungary saw out the game for the draw and it felt like a win as the whole stadium in Budapest went mad. Hungary remain bottom of the table but now have a point and they stand a chance at qualifying. France go top of the table but only by a point and nothing is guaranteed for them either. 

Portugal 2 vs. 4 Germany

The highest scoring game of the tournament so far as Germany roared back after the loss to France and thrashed Portugal. Germany had an opening goal ruled out for offside and Portugal gained the lead in the 15th minute via Ronaldo. Havertz then scored in the 35th minute to equalise for Germany after brilliant work from Gosens. Guerreiro then scored an another own goal to give Germany the lead in the 39th minute after he converted Kimmich’s cross. Havertz then made it three in the 51st minute with Gosens getting another assist. Gosens then sealed the win by adding a fourth via a header in the 60th minute. Jota got one goal back for Portugal in the 67th minute after some great work from Ronaldo again. Portugal drop down to 3rd with the loss while Germany rise into 2nd with the win. They are separated by goal difference and the group is very much still open. 

Euro 2020 Day 9 Preview

Big games once again!

Group E

Spain vs. Poland

Spain take on Poland with both teams looking to win their first game. Spain sit 3rd in the group with a point and need to win if they want to qualify in the top 2 places. With Poland it’s the same as they sit bottom of the group with 0 points and so 3 points are must. Spain had all the possession against Sweden in the first game but failed to take their chances while Poland were lacklustre against Slovakia. This should be a cagey affair but Spain should dominate possession. 

Group F

Hungary vs. France

Hungary sit bottom of the group after having suffered 10 poor minutes against Portugal. France sit 2nd in the group on goal difference after having beat Germany. It’s a must win game for Hungary although a draw could be a decent result depending on results elsewhere. Hungary fought hard and played well for 80 minutes of the game against Portugal but they capitulated after that. France weren’t at their best against Germany but took their chances and got the job done. A win for France would take them into the Round of 16. France should win this but at least Hungary will have that full stadium home support behind them. Should be a fun game but it would take a massive performance over 90 minutes for Hungary to leave with a point or more. 

Portugal vs. Germany

Group leaders and Euro holders Portugal look to secure a place in the Round of 16 with a win against Germany. Germany sit 3rd in the group on goal difference and for them this is a must win game if they want to reach the Round of 16 by qualifying in the first two places. Germany played well against France but France just had that x factor. Portugal were poor against Hungary for 80 minutes but the Hungarians lost steam in the final 10 and Portugal took advantage. This should be a brilliant game to watch with top players all over the pitch. Pressure on Germany for sure to win this game. 

Euro 2020 Day 8 Review

Lacklustre.

Group D

Croatia 1 vs. 1 Czech Republic

Schick scored in the 37th minute via a penalty to give Czech Republic the lead. The decision to give the penalty was wrong since Lovren had not purposely elbowed Schick and it was just a coming together. Croatia equalised in the 47th minute via a brilliant goal by Perisic. Other than those two incidents it was an easy game as both teams had shots but never tested the goalkeeper as much as they should have. Croatia remain 3rd in the group ahead of Scotland on goal difference. They still have a chance to reach the next round which sets up the game against Scotland perfectly. Czech Republic sit top of the group on goal difference and have one foot in the Round of 16. 

England 0 vs. 0 Scotland

This was a snooze fest of a game as neither team was able to break the other down. England hit the post and came close on a couple of occasions while Scotland also managed to force Pickford into some decent saves. The only player that stood was debutant Billy Gilmour who made his first start for Scotland. It was a brilliant performance in the midfield that won him man of the match. Southgate’s tactics were laughable and with all this talent at his disposal to play out a goalless draw against Scotland at Wembley is a joke. England remain 2nd in the group and have one foot in the Round of 16. Scotland are bottom of the group but can still make it if they win on the final day. 

Group E

Sweden 1 vs. 0 Slovakia

This was a must win game for Sweden and win they did as Forsberg scored a penalty in the 77th minute to seal the win for the home team. Sweden played really well in the 2nd half and Isak was a constant threat to Slovakia. Sweden go top of the group and have one foot but until Spain and Poland play there is no real picture of how the group stands. Slovakia are 2nd and in the same situation. 

Euro 2020 Day 8 Preview

England vs. Scotland Derby!

Group D

Croatia vs. Czech Republic

Croatia sit 3rd in the group with 0 points as they play a must win game against the Czech Republic. Croatia were lacklustre against England and provided no real threat. It was surprising given the level of players they have available to them. Czech Republic were very good against Scotland and Schick in particular lit up the game. Czech Republic can secure a place in the Round of 16 with a win and so the pressure is on Croatia to come out fighting. 

England vs. Scotland

A derby of sorts as group leaders England take on bottom of the table Scotland. England did enough to beat Croatia but they were far from brilliant although the selections by Southgate didn’t help. Scotland on the other hand played well against the Czech Republic but just fell short in the end. This should be a feisty encounter and a must watch between the two teams. Similar to the other game the pressure is on Scotland to come out fighting. Expect goals. 

Group E

Sweden vs. Slovakia

Slovakia sit top of the group with 3 points and can seal a place in the Round of 16 with a win. Sweden sit 3rd in the group with a point and they themselves can go top of the group with a win. The race for qualification was always going to be tough in Group E and this game should be as unpredictable. Slovakia showed against Poland that they have the quality and belong in the tournament. Sweden had some great moments against Spain with Isak coming close a few times. 

Euro 2020 Day 4 Review

Good day for Central Europe!

Group D

Scotland 0 vs. 2 Czech Republic

It was a big day for the Scots as their team made a long awaited return to tournament football and that to at Hampden Park. The atmosphere was electric and Scotland started well creating several chances and forcing saves. Czech Republic also replied by having chances of their own and forcing saves. It was a frantic game not one with much fluidity but entertaining none the less. The first goal came in the 42nd minute as Schick scored a brilliant header to give Czech Republic the lead. The 2nd goal came in the 52nd minute and it’s without a doubt going to the goal of the tournament. Schick received the ball a little ahead of the halfway line first time lobbed the keeper who was off his line to score. It was a brilliant goal and with such precision. Scotland had no reply as the Czech Republic stayed strong for the win. Scotland remain winless and goalless in a European competition while Czech Republic get 3 big points ahead of what are now two tough games. They also happen to go top of the table on goal difference. 

Group E

Poland 1 vs. 2 Slovakia

Another upset of sorts as Slovakia were the unlikely winner against Poland. Szczesny scored an own goal in the 18th minute to give Slovakia the lead. Linetty equalised for Poland in the 46th minute to setup a tasty 2nd half. Krychowiak was sent off for Poland in the 62nd minute for a 2nd yellow. Skriniar then turned up in the box and scored a brilliant volley to give Slovakia the lead in the 69th minute. Slovakia held on for the 3 points. The win takes Slovakia to the top of the table and 2 points clear of anyone else. Poland drop to the bottom.

Spain 0 vs. 0 Sweden

A bit of a dead squib of a game. Spain and Sweden could not live up to the Netherlands, Ukraine game. Two teams missed clear chances to score and they both had an equal chance of winning the game. Spain sit 2nd on goal difference while Sweden are right behind them. 

Euro 2020 Day 4 Preview

Hoping for goals!

Group D

Scotland vs. Czech Republic

These two teams are the ones who are up against it in this group as they look to beat the odds and finish in the top 3. England and Croatia are the favourites to qualify from the group so this is a massive head to head game between the two. Scotland drew one and won one of their friendlies while Czech Republic lost one and won one. The two squads have a mixture of experience and talent and some well known names in them. I don’t expect either team to go full throttle and so this might be a cagey affair. This could be a draw or a narrow win but neither team will run away with it. 

Group E

Poland vs. Slovakia

Group E is an open group and bar Spain there are no real favourites. Poland have drawn both of their friendlies while Slovakia have done the same. In terms of squads and quality there is only one real winner in this matchup and that’s Poland who have some serious talent. Slovakia have players like Hamsik but they have been around for a while now and are veterans. Poland are more likely to win this game although we have already seen the minnows provide decent challenges to better sides.

Spain vs. Sweden

Spain might have avoided picking Real Madrid players but they are still the favourites to qualify from the group. Sweden compared to Spain lack the quality but they have a good enough squad to finish 2nd or at the very least challenge Poland for that spot. Spain drew one of their friendlies and won the other while Sweden won all three of their friendlies. This will be a close game and similar to Netherlands and Ukraine this should see plenty of goals as well. 

Euro 2020 Group E Preview

Spain + 1?

Poland

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History

Poland made their Euro’s debut in 2008 and have been a staple of the tournament since. Their best finish came in 2016 when they reached the quarter-finals of the competition. Poland are ranked 19th in the world as they head into their 4th Euros looking to do better than last time. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus), Łukasz Skorupski (Bologna), Łukasz Fabiański (West Ham)

Defenders – Kamil Piatkowski (Rakow Czestochowa), Pawel Dawidowicz (Hellas Verona), Tomasz Kędziora (Dynamo Kyiv), Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Maciej Rybus (Lokomotiv Moscow), Kamil Glik (Benevento), Bartosz Bereszyński (Sampdoria), Michał Helik (Barnsley), Tymoteusz Puchacz (Lech Poznan)

Midfielders – Kacper Kozłowski (Pogon Szczecin), Karol Linetty (Torino), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Lokomotiv Moscow), Mateusz Klich (Leeds), Jakub Moder (Brighton), Przemysław Płacheta (Norwich), Przemysław Frankowski (Chicago Fire), Piotr Zieliński (Napoli), Kamil Jóźwiak  (Derby County)

Forwards – Arkadiusz Milik (Marseille), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Karol Świderski (PAOK), Dawid Kownacki (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Jakub Świerczok (Piast Gliwice)

Manager – Paulo Sousa

Most Caps – Robert Lewandowski (118)

Captain – Robert Lewandowski

Star Player – Robert Lewandowski 

Poland are favourites behind Spain to get out of this group. They have a good squad with some star players in it. With Szczesny and Fabianski their goalkeeping seems set. Bednarek, Glik, Rybus among the others make up a decent defence. Zielinski, Krychowiak, Klich are some of the midfielders that stick out. Up front Milik, and of course Lewandowski fly the Polish flag. Lewandowski is the one that can carry this team forward although they need to make sure he get’s a good supply of balls. The knockout stages will be tough but Poland have a good chance of getting out of the group. 

Slovakia

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History

Slovakia as Czechoslovakia along with the Czech Republic have done pretty well in the Euros since its birth. They won the competition in 1976 as one country. The first time Slovakia made an appearance as a nation was in the 2016 Euro’s when they managed to reach the Round of 16. Technically then it is 34th ranked team’s 2nd Euros. They find themselves in a tricky group and would do well to reach the next round. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Martin Dúbravka (Newcastle), Dušan Kuciak (Lechia Gdansk), Marek Rodák (Fulham)

Defenders – Peter Pekarik (Hertha Berlin), Denis Vavro (Huesca), Martin Valjent (Mallorca), L’ubomir Šatka (Lech Poznan), Milan Škriniar (Inter), Tomáš Hubočan (Omonia), Dávid Hancko (Sparta Prague), Martin Koscelnik (Slovan Liberec)

Midfielders – Ján Greguš (Minnesota United), Vladimir Weiss (Slovan Bratislava), Ondrej Duda (Cologne), Tomáš Suslov (Gronigen), László Bénes (Augsburg), Patrik Hrošovsky (Genk), Marek Hamšik (Goteborg), Lukáš Haraslin (Sassuolo), Juraj Kucka (Parma), Róbert Mak (Ferencvaros), Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli), Jakub Hromada (Slavia Prague)

Forwards – Róbert Boženik (Feyenoord), Michal Duriš (Omonia), Ivan Schranz (Jablonec) 

Manager – Štefan Tarkovič

Most Caps – Marek Hamšik (126)

Captain – Marek Hamšik

Star Player – Marek Hamšik

Slovakia still have the skeleton of experienced players they have had for several tournaments. In goal Dubravka has been a talent at Newcastle. In defence Skriniar is the name that sticks out to me. Duda, Suslov, Hamsik, Kucka, and Lobotka are all players that are quality in that midfield. Upfront I really haven’t heard of any of those forwards. Slovakia’s solid defence and midfield could create problems for the other teams but as far as squad depth and talent go they probably have the weakest squad in the group. If they manage to reach the Round of 16 it will be a good accomplishment for them. 

Spain

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History

Spain are ranked 6th in the world as they head into their 11th Euros this summer. They made their debut in 1964 and also managed to win it in that tournament. Since then they have won it two more times in 2008 and 2012. In 2016 they didn’t do so well as they only managed to reach the Round of 16. Spain are always a contender but they aren’t the most talented nation in this iteration of the Euros. 

Team

Goalkeepers – David de Gea (Man United), Robert Sánchez (Brighton), Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao) 

Defenders – César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Diego Llorente (Leeds), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), José Gayà (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Aymeric Laporte (Man City) 

Midfielders – Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Thiago (Liverpool), Rodri (Man City), Fabian (Napoli), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Pedri (Barcelona)

Forwards – Álvaro Morata (Juventus), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Ferran Torres (Man City), Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Pablo Sarabia (PSG)

Manager – Luis Enrique

Most Caps – Sergio Busquets (123)

Captain – Sergio Busquets 

Star Player – Thiago 

Spain of late can’t seem to head into a tournament without controversy. This time around it’s the fact that no Real Madrid player has been selected in the squad by Enrique. Ramos, Nacho, Carvajal, Isco, Vazquez, Asensio among others all left out of the squad. Spain though still have plenty of talent available to them although it isn’t as start studded. David de Gea is still a brilliant goalkeeper while Simon is an able deputy. Azpilicueta has just won a Champions League while Torres, Gaya, Alaba, and Laporte should all start. Busquets is the combative midfielder while Koke and Thiago should pull the strings in midfield. Olmo and Pedri can be the creative outlet. Morata is the star forward up top although he needs to work on his finishing while Moreno has had a stellar season. Torres, Traoré, Oyarzabal, and Sarabia will be waiting for their chance. Spain should reach the latter stages but I doubt they can win it.

Sweden

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History

Sweden will be taking part in their 7th Euros as they head into the tournament as the 20th ranked team in world football. Sweden made their debut in 1992 and managed to reach the semi-finals of that tournament. That also happened to be their best finish and for the last 3 tournaments they have failed to get out of the group stage. That will be the goal for the Swedes this time out. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Robin Olsen (Everton), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Copenhagen), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Genclerbirligi)

Defenders – Mikael Lustig (AIK), Victor Lindelof (Man United), Andreas Granqvist (Helsingborgs), Pierre Bengtsson (Vejle BK), Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Filip Helander (Rangers), Emil Krafth (Newcastle), Pontus Jansson (Brentford), Marcus Danielson (Dalian Professional)

Midfielders – Sebastian Larsson (AIK), Albin Ekdal (Sampdoria), Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig), Gustav Svensson (Guangzhou City), Ken Sema (Watford), Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar), Mattias Svanberg (Bologna), Kristoffer Olsson (Krasnodar), Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus), Jens Cajuste (FC Midtjylland)

Forwards – Marcus Berg (Krasnodar), Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad), Robin Quaison (Mainz), Jordan Larsson (Spartak Moscow)

Manager – Janne Andersson

Most Caps – Sebastian Larsson (129)

Captain – Andreas Granqvist 

Star Player – Emil Forsberg

Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost made the cut but was ruled out due to some injury. That would have been something else. Sweden still have a decent squad but no where near one of the better ones. Olsen is a decent goalkeeper, while defenders like Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Krafth, and Jansson have all made a name for themselves in the sport. Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg, Sema, and Kulusevski are all brilliant midfielders although Kulusevski can also play up front. Berg is the veteran forward although Isak is probably the best striker at their disposal. It’s a squad with talent and I have them fighting it for 2nd with Poland. Again getting out of the group stage will be the goal for the Swedes. 

World Cup Day 13 Review

Germany will not reach Moscow. 

Group E

Switzerland 2 vs. 2 Costa Rica

A draw was enough to send Switzerland to the next round in what was a tightly contested game. Dzemaili opened the scoring in the 31st minute to give Switzerland the lead going into half time. Waston equalised for Costa Rica in the 56th minute to make the table interesting once again, but Drmić scored for Switzerland in the 88th minute which gave the impression that Switzerland would be gaining all three points. Costa Rica had their own plans in mind and a Sommer own goal drew the game and sent Costa Rica home with a point to their name. Switzerland finished second in the group. 

Serbia 0 vs. 2 Brazil

After a cagey opening 30 minutes in which both teams failed to convert chances they created Paulinho gave the Brazilians the lead with a chip finish in the 36th minute. Serbia came out the better side in the second half as they began to pressure the Brazilian box but unluckily for them their final touch was lacking. Brazil remained tight at the back and doubled their lead in the 68th minute after Silva headed in a Neymar cross. Brazil gained all three points and top the group while Serbia go home. 

Group F

Mexico 0 vs. 3 Sweden

Sweden thrashed Mexico in a surprising result in Group F to top the group. After a boring first half in which Sweden created several chances but failed to convert them, the game lit up in the second half. Augustinsson opened the scoring in the 50th minute and Granqvist added a second via the penalty spot in the 62nd minute. Alvarez failed to clear his lines and scored an own goal in the 74th minute. Mexico were shambolic and no where near as good as they were in the first two games, they lost their first place finish but thanks to South Korea still managed to qualify. Sweden top the group after a strong showing. 

South Korea 2 vs. 0 Germany

After a goalless first half it seemed that Germany were still in the driving seat as Sweden had not scored in their game either, and as the second half drew on Germany only needed a goal to send them to the knockout stage. 45 minutes became 90 minutes and time was beginning to run out as Sweden had won their game but a point would not be enough for Germany. Germany began to commit men forward leaving open spaces at the back for the South Koreans to exploit. Young-gwon gave the South Koreans a shock lead in the 92nd minute after poaching a goal in the box following a cross. At first the goal was given offside but the referee consulted VAR and replays showed that the ball last came off a German defender which resulted in Young-gwon being onside. The goal counted and the South Koreans went into euphoria. Interestingly the referee had given Germany 9 minutes of extra time to score a goal but now they needed two in 7 minutes. A cross in the 96th minute was met by Neuer who was now in the Korean half but he failed to control the ball and lobbed pass by the Koreans was met by Son who ran the ball into an empty goal. Germany kept up the tradition of the winners going out in the group stage while this became their worst finish in the competition for 80 years. South Korea also go home but they finished above Germany and beat them in their final game and that is a decent memory to take back with you.