Euro 2020 is finally kicking off tonight.
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:
- England 9/2
- France 11/2
- Belgium 6/1
- Spain 13/2
- Germany 15/2
- Portugal 15/2
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