One year after the original date for the 2020 European Championships, we are set to have the finals. This time, it will be and extraordinary competition, hosted in 12 different cities across Europe, breaking from the past when one or two host countries would handle the matches.
North Macedonia and Finland are making their debuts at this year’s Euro finals while Wales and Slovakia are making second appearances after their debuts in 2016. Those are just among the underdogs heading to the competition. With the Euro 2020 predictions on the way at SportyTrader, are we going to see minnows rise and empires fall as we shift focus to the premier competition in Europe? Let’s take a look at the favorites:
The world champions will be looking to repeat the 1998 – 2002 feat, when they held on both the world and European titles. In Euro 2016 they got to the final and this time they’ll be aiming to do better, especially given they won’t have pressures of hosting the competition like it was then.
Most of their 2018 World Cup stars are still at their prime years and after doing well in the Nations League, they’ll be hoping to replicate the 1998-2000 successes. With the amount of depth in the team, there can’t be a lot of argument on their status as favorites.
The Three Lions rarely do well at major tournaments despite the wealth in talent at their disposal and a very strong league. However, after their performances in recent times, they’ll be favorites to bag their first ever Euro title. England went to the 2018 World Cup as serious underdogs but got to the semi finals. Three years later, they’ve had their lessons, and gained more experience.
More top players have come through the ranks as well, and the team will definitely be stronger. Most of their matches will be in London and this will also double up their advantage, which is why they are regarded among the favorites.
The top ranked nation in the world needs to add some titles to that rank. The team fell short at the World Cup, finishing third after a fine run at the competition coming from another round of underperformance at Euro 2016. In terms of depth, perhaps only France can match Belgium in Europe.
A few of their top players have been struggling with injury but with a full squad fit, Belgium will stick out as top contenders. Their key players are doing quite fine at club level and that will be a good build up going to the off season competition.
The Spaniards have really regressed after their golden period that saw them win back to back Euro titles as well as the World Cup. The potential is still there though and Spanish clubs continue to churn out top players at all levels. They didn’t do so well in the Nations League and have had a stuttering start to the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
However, they can’t just be ruled out; when they gel well, the Spanish players have the needed coordination and will definitely do well. Changing coaches days to the 2018 World Cup messed Spain, but they must have learnt well by now and they will definitely be a team to watch.
When teams with great depth are picked, Portugal will sure be among them. The Portuguese football system has continued to churn out great footballers and among the teams set to take part in this competition, Portugal will be among the favorites.
While Cristiano Ronaldo is still performing at the top, Diogo Jota, Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix are coming through. It really looks like a very good team and for them, transition won’t be a problem when the older players finally step out. Spaun is the only team to have ever defended the Euro title but basing solely on the strength of the team, Portugal will be among the teams to watch as they go out to defend their title.
The Italians missed the 2018 World Cup and it was uproar over the world. It was unthinkable. In response, the Italians went into rebranding and the results are clear to see. A good mix of the young and experienced players has kept the Italian wheels running and fresh ideas have kept their engine oiled.
Manager Roberto Mancini has been capable of overcoming the shortcomings experienced by his predecessors, the biggest being the difficulty to inject new blood in the team. He has a tough but fluid team and they may just be out to make up for the 2018 World Cup miss