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UEFA Euro 2020 - Group D analysis and prediction

UEFA Euro 2020 - Group D analysis and prediction

June 10, 2021 By Ali M.
One of Europe's most talented teams will go head-to-head with one of their most bitter rivals, a resurgent European nation, and the surprise package of the 2018 World Cup

The Friday, June 11 kick-off of Euro 2020 is upon us. After an unfortunate one-year postponement due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, fans are finally gearing up to watch the best teams in the continent lock horns in order to dethrone Portugal as the European Championship title holders.

A total of 24 teams will compete for this trophy, with the participants being split into six groups of four. Group D will certainly be one to watch, with one of Europe's most talented teams set to battle it out with their oldest and most bitter rivals, a resurgent European nation, and the surprise package of the 2018 World Cup. Here's everything you need to know about Group D.

Which teams are involved in Group D?

Croatia: The dark horse of the recent World Cup, the team that surprised everyone by going all the way to the final in Russia 2018, will be keen on repeating their heroics. However, since that defeat to France, things have gone downhill for the Vatreni.  Danijel Subasic, Ivan Strinic, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic have since retired and while many of the players who went on to replace them have impressed, Croatia have struggled to convince over the last three years. Two disappointing UEFA Nations League campaigns followed while rumors of a rift between the senior figures and the younger players have emerged. Euro 2020 would be a great opportunity to impress fans of the beautiful game once more; it's up to Modric and Co. to seize it.

Czech Republic: Naši might be the true underdogs of this tournament. While the odds of the Czech Republic winning the tournament are extremely low, they could pull off a surprise or two – more on that later. Jaroslav Silhavy's side are a physical and counter-attacking side that are organized well in defense, having conceded only six goals in five qualifiers after their 5-0 thrashing against England in the opening round. Set-pieces are where they thrive, with the likes of Tomas Soucek, Alex Kral, and Patrik Schick being great in the air. However, the Czech national team struggle to score goals and barely find the back of the net more than twice.

England: The fact that the Three Lions, a team with one of the most exciting crops of attacking players, is managed by Gareth Southgate, a coach known for his pragmatism, has fans feeling like this is another case of a square peg in a round hole. His decision to initially call up four right-backs to his squad is proof of that and when one of those four got injured – Trent Alexander-Arnold – he was not replaced by the omitted James Ward-Prowse or Jesse Lingard. Instead, another defender was given the nod in the form of Ben White. Since guiding England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, several young and exciting prospects have emerged, from Man City's Phil Foden to Chelsea's Mason Mount – not to mention Dortmund's Bellingham and Arsenal's Saka. The Three Lions have the players to win Euro 2020. It's just a question of whether Southgate can find the right formula.

Scotland: The Tartan Army secured a spot in this tournament via a grueling playoffs path and while that success won the hearts of football fans, not many tip Scotland to go far. The fact that their biggest names are either defenders or defensive midfielders – Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, and Scott McTominay – is proof of that. Victory over England at Wembley Stadium might be the best they can hope for.

Which cities will host Group D?

To mark the 60th anniversary of the European Championship, UEFA decided to stage the latest edition of the Euros across multiple cities. As a result, the Group D fixtures will be split across two venues: Hampden Park in Glasgow and Wembley Stadium in London.

Group D prediction

  1. England

  2. Czech Republic

  3. Croatia

  4. Scotland

England and Scotland are all but destined to finish in the first and last spot – though we'd love to be proved wrong in the case of the Tartan Army. It's a toss between who will finish second. Given Croatia's poor form in the wake of their amazing 2018 World Cup campaign and the resurgence of Czech Republic, we predict Soucek and Co. will beat the Vatreni to a runners-up finish.

UEFA Euro 2020 - Group D calendar

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

England 1 - 0 Croatia

June 13, 2021 9:00amWembley Stadium (London)

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Scotland 0 - 2 Czech Republic

June 14, 2021 9:00amHampden Park (Glasgow)

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Croatia 1 - 1 Czech Republic

June 18, 2021 12:00pmHampden Park (Glasgow)

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England 0 - 0 Scotland

June 18, 2021 3:00pmWembley Stadium (London)

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Croatia 3 - 1 Scotland

June 22, 2021 3:00pmHampden Park (Glasgow)

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Czech Republic 0 - 1 England

June 22, 2021 3:00pmWembley Stadium (London)

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