Introducing: Euro 2020

The Competition, Predictions and Past Glories

Welcome to the first of a seven-part Team Talk blog series, which will offer an insight into what to expect from Euro 2020. This first instalment will discuss the format of the competition finals, the pre-tournament favourites and the impact of the 2018 World Cup on football fanatics around the globe.

We will begin by explaining the structure of the tournament, across the group and knockout stages. Euro 2020 is set to break tournament hosting traditions, as the competition will be hosted by multiple nations, instead of the conventional single country. The group and knockout stages will be played in twelve different cities across the continent. UEFA will continue to use the EURO 2016 expanded format with the tournament finals set to feature twenty-four national sides.

The expanded format will surely mean this tournament will include more unforgettable moments (Robson Kanu’s Cruyff turn), and create greater opportunity for tournament upsets (Greece-EURO 2004).....at least that is what we are hoping for.

The Group and Knockout Stages

The six groups consist of the two best sides from each of the qualifying groups, and the four winners of the UEFA Nations League play-offs. Each team will play three matches in either their host or away venues against the other nations within their allocated group. The top two teams from each group will then progress into the round of 16 along with the four best third-placed teams, and the knockout stages will begin. Each knockout stage will see a specific number of sides eliminated, until only the tournament winner is left to be crowned EURO 2020 champions.

The Favourites and The Outsiders

France

The World Cup winners go into the tournament as favourites, having continued their impressive domination of the international footballing scene. Deschamps’ side finished top of their qualifying group scoring 25 goals, conceding 6 and only losing one game. The key to their tournament success will be achieved by sticking to the engrained philosophy of robust defensive strategies, combined with clinical finishing. The formula worked an absolute treat at the 2018 World Cup, and if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it!

England

Gareth Southgate’s side will be looking to build on their World Cup success and showcase to thefootball world that youth can prevail over experience. Like France, England also had a strong qualifying campaign as Harry Kane finished as top goal scorer (12), and The Three Lions demonstrated their relentless counter-attacking capabilities. England’s ability to win the competition will hinge on the performances of their rising young talent on a major tournament stage, and whether Jordon Pickford can rekindle his 2018 World Cup form. Will football be finally coming home for England?

The 2018 World Cup Fan Impact

Fan Zones

Fan zones became a key platform for fans across the globe to watch their country’s journey at the tournament finals. The fan zones offered the opportunity for fans to put their domestic alliances to one side, and unite as one to support their chosen nations. This summer, Greenwich Park is set to host a special fan-zone that will allow fans to watch the England matches, the semis and the final. Once the matches end, you can head to Greenwich Belushi’s to carry on the celebrations late into the night!

Instilling Belief

Every tournament will have favourites, outsiders and underdogs with teams being thrusted into these categories, based on things like their pre-competition form. The 2018 World Cup saw competition underdogs Croatia and Uruguay beat tournament favourites, England and Portugal respectively, to progress further than expected in the knockout stages. The unexpected success of underdog teams at the 2018 World Cup has instilled a stirring belief amongst supporters from every qualifying nation that their team can win Euro 2020.

For more information on where you can watch Euro 2020, head to our Euro 2020 page to secure your space.