Euro 2020 preview: The Cities, players to watch, odds and chances

The delayed Euro 2020 competition, Europe’s premier football tournament, starts on this Friday, June 11, after a year’s delay due to Covid-19.

This year’s competition will be held all over Europe, for the first time, with 11 host cities across the continent set to host total 51 matches. The host cities for Euro 2020 are as below:

City – CountryStadium
Amsterdam – Netherlands Johan Cruyff Arena
Baku – AzerbaijanOlympic Stadium
Seville – SpainRamon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium
Bucharest – Romania Arena Nationala
Budapest – HungaryPuskas Arena
Copenhagen – Denmark Parken Stadium
Glasgow – ScotlandHampden Park
London – EnglandWembley Stadium
Munich – Germany Allianz Arena
Rome – ItalyStadio Olimpico
Saint Petersburg – Russia Krestovsky Stadium

This arrangement is set to give more countries a home advantage, and with this the first time the Euro is being held in this format, it promises to throw up some surprises, especially as some smaller countries such as Hungary, Denmark and Scotland play in-front of their own Covid-19 vaccinated fans.

Where to watch EURO 2020

DStv is providing Channel 224 its dedicated EURO 2020 channel, as well as GOtv Channel 32 for football fans to enjoy the whole tournament from the comfort of their homes.

The format

The Euro 2020 competition is among 24 teams divided in six groups of four nations each.

The four teams play each other, the top two advance to the last sixteen, and the four best three placed sides from all groups join them.

From the last 16 leg, it is one knockout game all the way to the final at Wembley Stadium, London, on July 11.

The favourites

France, the defending World Cup champions, are by far the best European national team in the competition.

With superb talent such as Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and N’Golo Kante, the French have added Karim Benzema in the lineup for the first time in five years despite his legal issues.

Any end to the Euros without France as the champions will be a huge surprise to me.

The contenders

Portugal look very good to me, with attacking talent such as the evergreen Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes, City’s Bernado Silva, Renato Sanches, and Joao Moutinho.

In addition, the Portuguese team are the defending Euro champions!

However, they have a bit of an aging squad, and are also in the group of death with France, Germany and Hungary. The group game pitting France against Portugal on June 23could be one of the best duels in the month-long tournament.

Other contenders include England, who have a very exciting young talent, such as Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Jack Grealish plus home advantage, since the semifinals and final will be held at their Wembley Stadium in London.

Read also: EURO 2020 live stream: where to watch the fixtures from 11 cities across Europe here in Kenya

Italy are also good, with the great midfield pair of Jorginho and Marco Veratti.

Spain and Germany are not in the best of form, but they can never be ruled out as experienced teams that always advance to latter stages.

Belgium’s golden generation has a last chance to win a tournament, but many of their players such as Vermaelen, Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are aging, while Eden Hazard is coming off a bad year at Real Madrid.

Group of death

France, Portugal, Germany and Hungary are in the same group, and Hungary, while the weakest team of the group, have home advantage as they will play some games in the capital Budapest.

I pick Germany to finish third in this group, but they are traditionally the most experienced national team in Europe. They could still beat France and Portugal on a good day.

Dark horses

Denmark is my pick for the dark horse of the tournament, playing their group games at home in Copenhagen, they have some decent players such as Kasper Schmeichel, Pierre Hojberg, Cristian Eriksen and Thomas Delaney. They will be hard to beat. Netherlands are also a good side, and they are coming back after a hard few years.

Fantasy football

I will be playing the official fantasy game for the duration of this tournament. Join my league “Maudhui league” in the official euro fantasy web page: by inputting the code 69DIXY5B05 and let’s see who wins the bragging rights.

I hope to enjoy this exciting tournament, with host cities all over Europe. It has a Champions League feel to it, and smaller host nations such as Scotland, Denmark and Hungary will hope to capitalize on this to win their matches and pull a surprise.

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