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EURO 2020 TEAM GUIDE

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EURO 2020 TEAM GUIDE

How much do you know about the Euro’s this summer? Do you know all the teams? Well, this guide has everything you need to know about the 24 teams competing this summer. Once you’ve read it all, you’ll be able to wow your friends with your knowledge from teams like England to North Macedonia. The clubs will be in order by their groups.

For each team we have added a fact file including their captain, manager, fifa world ranking and even their nickname. Next, you can see what the sporting ferret believes to be their star player and also each team’s ‘key’ player who will be key for their countries success. Then you can see 3 positives about each team and one negative. Finally, a prediction is made about where they will finish. Where do you think they’ll finish?

 

Wales

Group: A

Manager: (Caretaker) Robert Page  Captain: Gareth Bale         

Nickname: The Dragons  World Ranking: 17 Star Player: Gareth Bale  Key Player: Ethan Ampadu is super versatile!

Positives:

1.Wales reached the semi finals in 2016, and they have an even better squad this year.

2.They have a great mix of young and experienced players.

3.Their 3-4-3 line up is clever; they can have 5 at the back when defending and 6 or 7 attacking when they pose a threat; all because of wing backs. 

Weakness

Not many of their players have played in a major tournament.

Prediction: Round of 16 We believe Wales can get out of their group, but think they may find themselves against a big gun in the first knockout round.

 

Italy

Group: A

Manager: Roberto Mancini Captain: Giorgio Chiellini         

Nickname: The Azzurri  World Ranking: 7 Star Player: Ciro Immobile  Key Player: Jorginho is a great defensive midfielder who can take spot kicks.

Positives:

1.They are unbeaten since September 2018

2.They might of fallen under the radar after missing out on the 2018 world cup

3.Their midfield is super strong!

Weakness

Their two central defenders- Chiellini and Bonucci – are growing older by the minute.

Prediction: Quarter-finals We believe Italy will breeze past the round of 16 but in the quarters come face to face with a team such as France or Belgium.

 

Turkey

Group: A

Manager: Senol Gunes  Captain: Burak Yilmaz         

Nickname: The crescent stars World Ranking: 29 Star Player: Caglar Soyuncu Key Player:  Cengiz Ünder is a young winger who can cause lots of trouble for the opposition!

Positives:

1.They make lots of runs in behind. 

2.Soyuncu and Kabak will make a great defence.

3.They won’t have any pressure on them. 

Weakness

They are taking TEN midfielders- Does this mean they are underloaded in other spots?

Prediction: Group Stage Whilst they have a strong defence, they don’t have much attacking threat which could easily cost them.

 

Switzerland 

Group: A

Manager: Vladimir Petkovic   Captain: Granit Xhaka    

Nickname: The A-team World Ranking: 13 Star Player: Xherdan Shaqiri Key Player: Manuel Akanji is a calm head in defence.

Positives:

1.They have a good balance in all positions.

2. Captain Xhaka remains a fearless leader.

3.They are unbeaten in their last 5 matches.

Weakness

Excluding key members like Shaqiri, Xhaka and Akanji other squad members aren’t notable. 

Prediction: Round of 16 They will probably get out of the group stage but as they look vulnerable to teams of better or the same quality of them, they won’t manage any further.

 

Belgium

Group: B

Manager: Roberto Martinez Captain: Eden Hazard  

Nickname: The Red Devils  World Ranking: 1 Star Player: Romelu Lukaku Key Player: Toby Alderweireld is a solid defender.

Positives:

1.Belgium are only getting better.

2.They have a stronger squad than when the came 3rd in the world cup.

3.They have an abundance of forward firepower

Weakness

Eleven of the squad are in their 30s. 

Prediction: WINNERS We believe Belgium are strong in all positions and have all the strength to win the Euros.

 

Denmark

Group: B

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand  Captain: Simon Kjaer        

Nickname: The Red and White World Ranking: 10 Star Player: Christian Eriksen Key Player: Kasper Schmeichel is a world class goalkeeper.

Positives:

1. They are really growing as a group.

2. Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg and Christian Eriksen can form a strong midfield partnership.

3.The midfield has lots of playmaking ability for the forwards to feed on.

Weakness

Their defence lacks depth- with a mixture of good players and not so great players.

Prediction: Round of 16 With a strong midfield, some interesting attackers and a great goalkeeper, we see Denmark to make it past their group but no further than that.

 

Finland

Group: B

Manager: Markku Kanerva  Captain: Tim Sparv         

Nickname: The Eagle Owls World Ranking: 54 Star Player: Teemu Pukki  Key Player: Glen Kamara was key for Rangers last season and will be for Finland.

Positives:

1.Teemu Pukki is a lethal centre forward who is proven in the Premier League.

2.It is their first major tournament so they will have no pressure on them unlike other teams.

3.The squad is relatively young- 7 players are under 25.

Weakness

They nearly always play 4-4-2

Prediction: Group Stage Whilst Pukki will do his best, a group stage finish for the newbies will almost be inevitable.

 

Russia

Group: B

Manager: Stanislav Cherchesov  Captain: Artem Dzyuba         

Nickname: Our Guys World Ranking: 38 Star Player: Artem Dzyuba  Key Player: Denis Cheryshev was key in the 2018 world cup.

Positives:

1.They have a powerhouse forward in Dzyuba.

2.They can be confident after a successful world cup in 2018

3.The squad is experienced.

Weakness

They only have a few star players.

Prediction: Round of 16 Russia will give it a go and get past the group stage via 3rd place but won’t go any further.

 

Holland

Group: C

Manager: Frank de Boer  Captain: Georginio Wijnaldum         

Nickname: Oranje World Ranking: 16 Star Player: Memphis Depay  Key Player: Daley Blind is a solid defender.

Positives:

1.Have lots of attacking flair

2.Depay’s set pieces are guaranteed to be brilliant-corners and free-kicks.

3.They have a young vibe to the squad.

Weakness

Without Van Dijk it will be interesting to see how they fair.

Prediction: Quarter finals They will easily get past the group stage and win their round of 16 match but fall short against a giant in the quarters.

 

Austria

Group: C

Manager: Franco Foda Captain: Julian Baumgartlinger         

Nickname: The Team   World Ranking: 23 Star Player: David Alaba  Key Player: Daniel Bachmann is a goalkeeper who will have lots to do!

Positives:

1.The squad is young- 10 players are 25 or under.

2.They have a great group for a team of their quality.

3.They have a nice mix of experienced players and their team-mates  who are still young and fresh.

Weaknesses

They have conceded 9 in their last 5 matches.

Prediction: Round of 16 They have the strength to reach the last 16 but will stumble at that stage.

 

Ukraine

Group: C

Manager: Andriy Shevchenko Captain: Andriy Pyatov         

Nickname: The Main Team World Ranking: 24 Star Player: Oleksandr Zinchenko Key Player: Andriy Yarmolenko will be key at scoring goals!

Positives:

1.They have a former player managing them who knows just what it feels like to be in a pressured situation.

2.The squad is a versatile one, with many players playing in different positions.

3.They like to press and have lots of energy.

Weakness

They don’t have many star players.

Prediction: Group Stage Ukraine’s best players might not be enough to avoid a group stage exit.

 

North Macedonia

Group: C

Manager: Igor Angelovski  Captain: Goran Pandev         

Nickname: Lynxes World Ranking: 62 Star Player: Ezgjan Alioski  Key Player: Goran Pandev is a super experienced forward.

Positives:

1.They can play with no pressure with people expecting them to go out early.

2.Alioski came right into form at the end of the season and will be one of the Lynxes main threat.

3.If there was ever a group in this competition where they could pull off a shocker, this is it!

Weakness

The majority of the team don’t play in recognisable leagues. 

Prediction:Group Stage The little big game experience this team has will cost them and stop them causing any major upsets. 

 

England

Group: D

Manager: Gareth Southgate  Captain: Harry Kane   

Nickname: The Three Lions World Ranking: 4 Star Player: Harry Kane Key Player: Jack Grealish can make something out of nothing!

Positives:

1.Many of their defenders can play in different positions on the backline.

2.Have multiple forwards and wingers of quality so can mix it up but still get good results.

3.Southgate the manager knows what international pain feels like so will try not to let that happen now as a manager.

Weakness

They’ve taken only 5 recognised midfielders.

Prediction:Quarter Finals Whilst this England squad is fresh and exciting, they have a tough route so there could be disappointment in the air. 

 

Scotland

Group: D

Manager: Steve Clarke Captain: Andy Robertson        

Nickname: The Tartan Army World Ranking: 44 Star Player: Andy Robertson  Key Player: Scott McTominay is an all-rounder.

Positives:

1.They have strong left side with Tierney and Robertson. 

2.With lots of Premier League football players in the team they have lots of experience.

3.They possibly have their strongest ever side.

Weakness

This is their first EUROS since 1996- They lack international experience in major tournaments.

Prediction:Group Stage They’ll give it a good go, especially for the fans against England, but will eventually fall out to the other teams in their group.

 

Croatia

Group: D

Manager: Zlatko Dalic  Captain: Luka Modric        

Nickname: The Blazers World Ranking: 14 Star Player: Luka Modric Key Player: Mateo Kovacic is a defensive and attacking player. 

Positives:

1. The midfield is strong.

2.Will feel they can find strength off  their 2018 world cup runners up spot.

3.They will believe they can get out of their group.

Weakness

Their defence is weak. 

Prediction:Round of 16 They will find themselves in a pickle in the last 16 and that will cost them! 

 

Czech Republic

Group: D

Manager: Jaroslav Silhavy Captain: Vladimir Darida         

Nickname: The National Team World Ranking: 40 Star Player: Tomas Soucek  Key Player: Vladimir Coufal is always a calm head.

Positives:

1.West Ham duo Soucek and Coufal link up well. 

2.They have only lost 2 in their past 5- including an impressive draw with Belgium. 

3.Are underrated- They’ll want to prove doubters wrong.

Weakness

Only 3 of their players play in the Premier League- There is not much top flight experience in the team. 

Prediction:Group Stage They’ll no doubt find it tough against Croatia and England and might do better  against Scotland but it won’t do enough for the Czechs to avoid an early exit.

 

Spain

Group: E

Manager: Luis Enrique Captain: Sergio Busquets         

Nickname: The Red Fury World Ranking: 6 Star Player: Thiago Alcantara  Key Player: Alvaro Morata is a strong forward

Positives:

1.They have a strong bench.

2.They have a strong midfield of Koke, Thiago and Rodri.

3.Centre-back partnership Garcia and Laporte know each other well from Man City. 

Weakness

Their front three isn’t as powerful as they’d like it to be.

Prediction:Quarter-final Spain aren’t as powerful as they used to be and it could prove to be a key factor as the Red Fury can’t reach any further than the quarters. 

 

Sweden 

Group: E

Manager: Janne Andersson  Captain: Andreas Granqvist         

Nickname: The Blue and Yellow World Ranking: 18 Star Player: Emil Forsberg Key Player: Robin Olsen was key for Everton when Pickford wasn’t available, so he’ll be key for Sweden too. 

Positives:

1.They have loads of experience in the squad. 

2.Victor Lindelof will bring a calm head into the defence.

3.They’ll believe they can get out of their group and maybe even further!

Weakness

The loss of Zlatan Ibrahimović will lay a big burden on this Swedish team.

Prediction:Round of 16 They’ll get out of their group but we doubt this squad has the quality to go any further. 

 

Poland 

Group: E

Manager: Paulo Sousa Captain: Robert Lewandowski          

Nickname: The Eagles World Ranking: 21 Star Player: Robert Lewandowski  Key Player: Jan Bednarek is a consistent and solid defender. 

Positives:

1.The squad is scattered with positive players

2.They have some strong goalkeepers in their squad.

3.You’d hope Klich, Milik and Lewandowski will work well together  to score goals. 

Weakness

Aside from their stars, the squad is quite weak. 

Prediction:Round of 16 There are some great vibes in this squad-but not enough to pull off any shocks and their EURO story will end in the last 16. 

 

Slovakia

Group: E

Manager: Stefan Tarkovic  Captain: Marek Hamsik        

Nickname: The Falcons World Ranking: 36 Star Player: Milan Skriniar Key Player: Martin Dubravka is a strong goalkeeper who’ll have his hands full. 

Positives:

1.They have loads of experience in the squad. 

2.The squad is even in all spots and is not over or under loaded in any position. 

3.They’ll be happy with their group and might be able to nick some points of Sweden and Poland. 

Weakness

Their weakness is also a positive. Whilst you want experienced players, 10 of the squad is 30 or over. 

Prediction:Group Stage Without many star players, a group stage finish seems inevitable. 

 

France 

Group: F

Manager: Didier Deschamps  Captain: Hugo Lloris         

Nickname: The Blues World Ranking: 2 Star Player: Kylian Mbappe  Key Player: N’golo Kante is a world-class midfielder. 

Positives:

1.France won the last world cup and will believe they can win this.

2.The squad is packed full of stars in every position. 

3.They possibly have the strongest players going forward in the whole tournament. 

Weakness

Whilst it may seem positive Didier Deschamps will find it difficult to choose a starting 11- he might chop and change too much. 

Prediction:RUNNERS UP They’ll get so close to the trophy like they did in 2016, but after a strong run in, they’ll lose out by a margin. 

 

Portugal 

Group: F

Manager: Fernando Santos  Captain: Cristiano Ronaldo        

Nickname: The Selection World Ranking: 5 Star Player: Cristiano Ronaldo  Key Player: Ruben Dias has recently picked up loads of awards for his top level defending. 

Positives:

1.Their forward strength is so strong. 

2.A few of the squad are Wolves players- This relationship will help Portugal out on and off the pitch. 

3.The squad has a mix of experienced and exciting new players. 

Weakness

Their defence won’t be as strong as they’d like it to be. 

Prediction: Semi Final The 2016 winners will play some great football but miss out on the final. 

 

Germany 

Group: F

Manager:  Joachim Löw  Captain: Manuel Neuer        

Nickname: The Team World Ranking: 12 Star Player: Joshua Kimmich Key Player: Everyone knows Leroy Sane’s speed- it causes defensive nightmares for the opposition. 

Positives:

1.Their attacking force is powerful. 

2.Their midfield is strong. 

3.They’ll want to put themselves back with the best after a group stage exit at the 2018 world cup.

Weakness

Their defenders really aren’t as strong as they should be for a side of Germany’s quality. 

Prediction:Semi Finals Germany will massively improve on their previous world cup performance: and will lose out to a really strong side in the semis. 

 

Hungary 

Group: F

Manager: Marco Rossi  Captain: Adam Szalai      

Nickname: The Magyars World Ranking: 37 Star Player: Peter Gulacsi Key Player: Captain Adam Szalai will need to really encourage his team in this ‘group of death’. 

Positives:

1.Everyone expects them to lose all three group stage games meaning no pressure. 

2.The squad is balanced everywhere. 

3.They can use legend Ferenc Puskas as inspiration. 

Weakness

They are in the group of death and would have found it difficult to get out of their group anyway. 

Prediction:Group Stage Whilst you have to feel sorry for them, anything but a group stage finish seems largely improbable. 

 

So now you know about all the teams, there is only one thing left to do…

Enjoy the Euros!

 

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