Euro 2020 Match Preview
Belgium vs Russia
Group B – Gazprom Stadium, Saint Petersburg
Belgium have players this season that are coming into the Euros in really good form, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Youri Tielemans enjoying individual seasons for their clubs. It’ll be a good game in Russia against a physical Russian side with a lot of ability too. Belgium no doubt will feel as though they can top this group, but it isn’t going to be easy with Russia and Denmark capable of causing issues. Unbeaten in 9 games, they should feel confident to win here even though the game will be in Russia.
It should give Russia an advantage to be in their own country, but Belgium is an extremely tough opponent. Artem Dzyuba will be relied upon up front with his physical presence being a nuisance for defenders, and he generally performs well in games that matter. Their form isn’t the best though, but the team surprised everyone when they played in Russia during the World Cup and they’ll be hoping that is the case here again.
England vs Croatia
Group D – Wembley Stadium, London
Joint favourites along with France to win the tournament, England are seen as a team that should now be capable of doing so. They have the quality, they’ve always had that in their side at every tournament but it hasn’t ever worked out for whatever reason. With 15 players making their major tournament debut, they do have a relatively young team, but a team that is filled with players with tremendous ability. With the likes of Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Harry Kane, they have a recipe for success going forward, but there are still question marks over the side defensively and that’s where they’ll be tested here.
Croatia seem to always perform at major tournaments and they could do so here again at Euro 2020. With Luka Modric still pulling the strings in his later years, he had an incredible season at Real Madrid again and he doesn’t look to be slowing down just yet. They have players capable of causing England problems, but their form hasn’t been good. They’ve won only 2 of their last 9, with both wins coming against much lesser opposition, and they do need to quickly improve if they are to be at a standard to get a result against a good England side.
Netherlands vs Ukraine
Group C – Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam
There’s been a lot of negative talk about the Netherlands team leading into the competition, and rightly so. They don’t look like a team capable of winning the tournament with a lack of leadership in the squad. Memphis Depay will likely be relied upon to shine, and although they do have a lot of talented players with Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, there is definitely something lacking for the team. Virgil van Dijk is a huge miss for the squad and it shows, but they should still have enough for the victory here.
Unbeaten in their last 6, Ukraine will feel as though they can cause an upset here in Amsterdam. It’ll be tough, but a good result could go a long way in qualifying as they come up against Austria and North Macedonia, two teams that they should feel they can beat. They’ll be able to pose threats to Netherlands with the likes of Ruslan Malinovsky who enjoyed a good season for Atalanta, and Roman Yaremchuk who will lead the line up front, as the striker enjoyed a great season with Gent, scoring 20 goals. The quality is there to get a result.