Each international tournament provides us with wonderful entertainment filled with electrifying crowd atmosphere and unforgettable moments. We meet new rising stars and enjoy the final matches of aging veterans who left everything on the pitch for their countries. Yeah, some of us hate these tournaments as it’s an injury risk for club players but the players themselves find such an honor in representing their nations that it’s truly a sight to see.
Here at American Scouser, some of us tried our hands at predicting how this year’s UEFA Euro 2020 (2021?) tournament will go.
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
One of two groups where there isn’t a consensus. Could Shaqiri and Co. stage an upset? Jordan likes to think so. Also featuring in this group we have Wales and Turkey. Wales made a hell of a run in the prior Euros but Turkey may quietly be the nation that grinds it out to the Quarter Finals this year.
Group B: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Russia
The second of the two groups without a consensus. Mateusz (boldly? stupidly?) going with Russia to take down favorites Belgium for command of Group B. Similarly to Group A, this is Belgium’s group to lose as Denmark and Finland don’t quite have the talent for this year’s tournament, but who knows? Kasper Schmeichel could keep clean sheets throughout every game and give his team an opportunity to squeak by some games.
Group C: Austria, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Ukraine
Here begins a string of unanimous picks for group winners, which means we are bound to be wrong on one of these. Group C sees a Netherlands side in a group with the likes of Austria, Ukraine, and North Macedonia. Anything but first for Netherlands will be disappointing but don’t sleep on Ukraine, one of this year’s dark horses.
Group D: Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Scotland
Group D sees an interesting mix of nations. You have a promising England squad going up against World Cup runner ups Croatia, a young and hungry generation in the Czech Republic, and everyone’s favorite “little brother that could” in Scotland. Our experts believe in The Three Lions. Should they?
Group E: Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
We feel like this is Spain’s group. Although Spain is no longer the giant it was a decade ago, they still have the talent and depth to make a deep run in this tournament. They will first have to get through Poland, Sweden, and Slovakia. The battle in this group will come down to second place between Poland and Sweden, where the former is coming off a disappointing World Cup while having arguably the most in-form player on the planet and the latter has a mix of experience in the national game and young, up-and-coming talent with little experience. Without Zlatan, it’s difficult to say where the goals might come from unless the likes of Isak and Kulusevski find their footing.
Group F: France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal
Group F. Wow. What a group. France, Portugal, and Germany. No disrespect to Hungary, but they are minnows amongst sharks here and couldn’t have asked for a worse draw. This group features the past two World Cup winners and the past Euro winner with a rematch of the Euro final in France vs Portugal. Perhaps surprisingly, every member of our panel sees France on top. They have the talent and are favorites for the tournament. Will that be too much pressure?
*Because of the tournament having four third place finishers advancing, we all used the UEFA Euro 2020 predictor website to build our knockout stages. The final matchup and third place team are based off of those predictions.*
Final Matchup & Score:
Mateusz: Belgium 3 – 2 Portugal. I’m sure I’ll regret this decision fairly early in the tournament.
Timucin: France 3 Spain 1
Jack: France 3-1 Portugal
Jordan: England V France 3:2 England win. I am going to go with my heart and not my head and back My Ingleterra boys to glory.
It’s hard to bet against France reaching the final with the squad that they have. While we have three different winners, we all believe the Euro champion will score three goals in the final.
Two votes for Belgium; I imagine they are on a collision course with either France/Portugal in the semi-final. Some third place teams in the group stage can really shake up the way the knockout stage is set up. It should be interesting.
Mateusz: Romelu Lukaku
Looks like we are split between two of the top three players with the highest odds to end this tournament as recipients of the Golden Boot. It has taken 6, 4, and 3 goals in the previous three Euros respectively to nab the honors. How many will it take this year? Could Harry Kane do the Golden Boot “double” this year? Will Lewandowski’s potential group stage and one knockout game be enough?
Mateusz: Ukraine. Lots of players that play on the same team at club level. There usually is something to be said about chemistry. They also topped their qualifying group; a group that included Portugal!
Timucin: Turkey (I hope)
Jack: Poland, Lewandowski dragging them through to at least quarters. Can’t see many other major upsets this year.
Two shouts for Turkey here, and deservedly so. One of the dark horses of the tournament, Turkey will demand the respect of their opponents and could see a couple of their younger players evolving into stars on the national stage. Other “Cinderella” nations to keep an eye on: Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic.
Most Disappointing Team:
Mateusz: France only because anything other than a trophy will be considered a disappointment considering squad talent and depth.
Jack: England, losing in the first round of the knockouts.
A little bit all over the board here for this competition’s most disappointing team. Part of the equation for disappointment is considering how it’s measured. For some countries, anything but a finals place is disappointing whereas for others, their bar is set a bit lower. One “big” nation is bound to crack.
Which team would you LIKE to see win?
Mateusz: Poland. An amazing 2016 Euros that ended in a loss to the eventual champions followed by an abysmal showing in the 2018 World Cup makes me hopeful. Lewy is on a tear and I just hope he gets some help this year.
Jack: England, just to see our lads get some silverware… Scotland, if only for Captain Robbo.
A mix of bloodlines and club allegiances have half of our panel rooting for England while the other half are backing the country they were born in.
Which team would you like to see absolutely fail?
Mateusz: Weirdly, I don’t really have one this year. Maybe France so that someone new lifts the trophy? I used to wish ill on Italy every tournament but they’ve gone through a huge rebuilding so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this year.
Timucin: Ask me this after the first set of games where I find a team annoying.
Jack: I don’t hate any team per se, but I would like to see players fail… like Bruno Fernandes or Sergio Ramos, to name a couple.
Jordan: France or Portugal
It’s easier to find teams at the club level to hate than teams at the national level. As long as our Liverpool lads come back healthy… (Curse you, Southgate)
Player of the Tournament:
Mateusz: N’Golo Kante
Coming off his Champions League run of form, two of us believe N’Golo Kante will carry that form through the tournament to earn Player of Tournament honors. Mbappe seems like a safe choice as well. Jack Grealish can definitely have himself one hell of a tournament. Will it be enough for England? I would also love to rub it into Timucin’s face that Jack “Low-Socks” Grealish had an outstanding run of games.
Breakout star of the tournament:
Mateusz: Kacper Kozlowski, Ryan Gravenberch
Timucin: Hakan Calhanoglu
Jack: The Mount/Foden tandem?
Jordan: Andre Silva, Burak Yilmaz, Jude Bellingham
We are a bit all over the place here and don’t share any potential breakout stars. However, there are similar nations represented as two Turkish players and three English players make our lists. International tournaments are hotbeds for new talent so I’m excited to see who makes a name for themselves. Some other names to look for include: Jeremy Doku (Belgium), Aleksander Isak (Sweden), Fabian Ruiz (Spain), Viktor Tsygankov (Ukraine), among others.
Have predictions of your own? Share them with us! Here’s to a wonderful Euros!