Euro 2020 is set to begin later this month from June 12 and will go on till July 12 across 11 venues in Europe. Following a postponement last year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the showpiece tournament is finally set to be played as fans return to the various stadiums across the continent as well.
A total of 24 nations will take part in the tournament and they are divided across six groups with four in each group. The top two teams in each group along with the four best third-placed teams go through to the knockout stages.
So as the tournament draws near, we take a look at the teams that can win the cup and take it away from defending champions Portugal. Here are the top four contenders for the trophy this summer.
World champions France are second in the FIFA rankings and have named a strong squad across all areas of the field to win a title they missed out on in the final to Portugal. Didier Deschamps’ men have been one of the strongest sides in the world for a few years now and will once again be one of the hardest to beat in the championships.
Deschamps recalled in-form Karim Benzema to a side that already bolstered the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Kingsley Coman and Antoine Griezmann in the attack. The attackers are also well supported by the likes of Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot while N’Golo continues to act as a shield to the French defence which boasts of Raphael Varane, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez to name a few.
Group stage opponents: Portugal, Germany and Hungary.
Portugal are the defending champions and have one of the most balanced teams in this year’s competition. From defence to attack, Portugal have a thick squad across every position.
Led by Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal are in the ‘Group of Death’ with France, Germany and Hungary. The 2016 champions will be banking on Ronaldo in attack and Ruben Dias’ strength at the back to go deep in the tournament and retain the cup if possible.
Other than the duo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo will also play a key part in Portugal’s Euro campaign.
Group stage opponents: France, Germany and Hungary
Belgium are currently the No.1 ranked team in the world and are one of the best teams across Europe. With a talent pool that can give France a run for their money, Belgium can finally go all the way and win a trophy following an exit in the 2018 World Cup semi-final.
The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Yannick Carrasco have been in fantastic form and will be a dangerous forward line.
However, Belgium would depend a lot on the form of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne as well, who have been slightly off colour recently.
Group stage opponents: Russia, Denmark and Finland
England are one of the top contenders going into the tournament and Gareth Southgate’s men will be eager to get revenge on Croatia this year following the defeat at their hands in the 2018 World Cup semi-final.
England are currently the fourth-ranked team in the FIFA rankings behind Belgium, France and Germany and their attacking talents will look to make a mark in the tournament.
With the final in Wembley, it might finally be the time for the cup to ‘come home’
Group stage opponents: Czech Republic, Croatia and Scotland
We are eagerly awaiting the start of the matches along with the rest of the fans with abated breath.