After a year of postponement due to the pandemic, European football’s flagship tournament gets underway this evening, and will play right through to 11 July.
24 countries will be battling it out for the trophy, including three UK home nations – England, Scotland, and Wales.
Turkey will face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for the first match of the highly-anticipated tournament tonight, with Gareth Southgate’s England squad up against World Cup 2018 finalists Croatia in their first match at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 13 June.
Unlike previous tournaments, Euro 2020 will be the first European Championship to be played across the entire breadth of the continent, using 11 different venues.
England has been placed in Group D, alongside Scotland, Croatia, at the Czech Republic.
Every tournament’s group stage tends to have a so-called ‘group of death’, with Euro 2020’s coming in the form of Group F – which features the 2014 World Cup winners Germany, the reigning world champions France, and the reigning European champions Portugal, with Hungary being the somewhat unlucky nation rounding out the group and therefore needing to produce a moment of magic to come out the other side.
But how will England fare in this year’s tournament? How far are they expected to go? Do they stand a strong chance of making it to the final? Which countries will stand in their way?
Here’s everything you need to know about Euro 2020.
When is Euro 2020?
The tournament officially kicks off on Friday 11 June in Rome, and ends with the final at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday 11 July.
What are the groups?
Group A: Italy, Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales.
Group B: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Russia.
Group C: Austria, Netherlands, North Macedonia, and Ukraine.
Group D: Croatia, Czech Republic, England, and Scotland.
Group E: Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden.
Group F: France, Germany, Hungary, and Portugal.
Where are the venues?
Amsterdam (Johan Cruijff Arena)
Baku (Olympic Stadium)
Bucharest (National Arena)
Budapest (Puskás Aréna)
Copenhagen (Parken Stadium)
Glasgow (Hampden Park)
London (Wembley Stadium)
Munich (Fußball Arena München)
Rome (Stadio Olimpico)
Seville (La Cartuja Stadium)
St Petersburg (St Petersburg Stadium)
What is the fixture schedule?
The Group Stage will take place between Friday 11 June – Wednesday 23 June, the Knockout Phase will then take place between Saturday 26 June – Tuesday 29 June, the Quarter Finals will happen on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 July, the Semi Finals on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 July, and it’ll all culminate with the Final on Sunday 11 July.
You can check out the fixture schedule in full on the official UEFA Euro 2020 website here.
What’s England’s route to the final?
It’s easy to get carried away with ourselves when it comes to sporting tournaments such as Euro 2020, and it’s only natural for England fans to be looking ahead at the best way for the squad to make it to the final.
They’ve got to make it to the Knockout Phase first though – but how will they do that?
There’s a number of ways the Group Stage could pan out for England that will determine who they face in the knockouts.
This chart that’s been doing the rounds online might make things a little clearer.
Who is predicted to win?
Predictions will always be predictions, but the bookies over at Paddy Power have set the odds for six countries expected to perform well:
Where can I watch Euro 2020 in Manchester?
Manchester is a city that’s obsessed with football, so understandably, there’s plenty of venues going all out for the Euros this year.
We’ve been inundated with messages over the past few weeks from our loyal audience keen to find out the best places to catch a match this summer, so we’ve knuckled down and done the leg work for you.
If you’re looking for recommendations, you can find 20 of the best spots to watch Euro 2020 in Manchester city centre this summer here.
Featured Image – Flickr
Tyson Fury calls Usyk and Joshua ‘s***houses’ and doubts AJ fight will happen
Tyson Fury is at it again on social media, blasting both Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk after the latter suggested he was “afraid” of him.
While Fury is beginning preparations for his fight against AJ due to be held this December, Usyk attempted to rattle the Gypsy King’s cage in the meantime.
Speaking in an interview on his YouTube channel, the Ukrainian said, “Despite his toughness and how he is generally described, he is afraid. Yes, of me.” It didn’t take long for Tyson to respond in kind:
As you can see, the Wythenshawe-born heavyweight spends nearly a full minute shouting expletives, calling Usyk a “little s***house and a ‘little s***bag” before warning, “I’ll put my fist right through the side of you, you little sausage.”
Rubbishing the suggestion he is scared and dishing out some trash talk of his own, Fury then goes on to call out another “s***house”, as he puts it, labelling Joshua a “big bodybuilder” rather than a boxer and suggesting that he has been delaying signing the contract.
Despite Warren stating that terms would be agreed sometime soon, the long-awaited all-British bout could still be in doubt as we’ve already seen one potential fight disintegrate in the 11th hour.
AJ is coming off back-to-back defeats against Usyk, who he’d no doubt hoped to beat on his way to finally facing Fury. Nevertheless, the WBC champion believes he does want it at all, remarking: “You little sausage, you do not wanna fight, your manager’s a sausage.
The rant continues in a similar vein, with Fury adding: “I’ve never seen anything like yous, both a pack of s***houses.
“However, I will be fighting 3 December if this sausage does not sign the contract, which I don’t think he [will] because I don’t think he’s got the b****cks to, because he’s a s***bag.
It remains to be seen what kind of response Joshua will give and if the fight will finally be locked in. All we know is that it’ll be a big disappointment for fight fans if the match-up falls apart again.
Featured Image – Tyson Fury (via Twitter)
Jack Grealish offers perfect response to Graeme Souness’ invitation for a pint
Jack Grealish has offered the perfect response after former player turned pundit Graeme Souness said he’d like to go out for a pint with him.
Phoning into to talkSPORT radio to try and dismiss the suggestion that he has an agenda against the Manchester City star, Souness said he has “absolutely no” problem with Jack and that he only has his manager to impress.
Defending his stance on the player, he added that outside of football and his professional critique, he’d “love a night out with him”. It was this comment that saw the City no.10 come up with the perfect reply.
As you can see, Grealish jokingly responded by saying ‘let’s do it!! As long as I can bring Pogba as a +1″. Well played, Jack, well played indeed.
If you’ve paid any kind of attention to football five years or so, the 69-year-old former Liverpool player has long-held a reputation for homing in on select players with his criticism, none more so than former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. Well, only Pogba, really.
Having taken umbrage with everything from his haircut and work rate to his style and perceived attitude on and off the pitch, the Scot’s seemingly unwavering problem with the Frenchman became one of the biggest football memes in history.
That being said, since Pogba left the Premier League it would seem the Brummy boy has become Souness latest target, labelling him a “precious” player and suggesting that he is “not a quick learner”.
Their spat is now getting so much publicity in fact that even prior to his social media quip, the 27-year-old even took time out of training at the latest England camp to address the situation, insisting: “I don’t know what problem to he’s got”.
Explaining his criticism during the broadcast, Souness went on to argue that while he doesn’t have a problem with the “cheeky chappy”, he does thinks he “technically fantastic”, he still believes he’s “entitled to an opinion”.
He went on to argue that pundits can’t be critical of “modern players” these days, even citing the reaction to his own feud with Pogba and arguing he was proved “100% right at the end of the day”.
Despite retaining his place in the England squad and opening his account in the league for City last weekend, Souness believes that there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that Grealish is among the “great” players in the Prem right now.
While he hasn’t been a regular starter for Pep’s side since arriving as the most expensive British signing of all-time, he is still one of the nation’s brightest talents and his international break would be a great opportunity to make a point.