UEFA EURO 2020 promises plenty of excitement even before the knockout stage begins, with historical matchups, debuts in the finals, and heavyweight contests.
Each football fan should mark the following seven dates in their calendars in red in the coming months.
TURKEY VS ITALY (ROME, GROUP A): 11 JUNE, 21:00
One of the 11 co-hosts of the final tournament takes on Turkey, exactly 21 years after their last big tournament meeting when Italy beat Turkey 2-1 on the second day of UEFA EURO 2000 in Arnhem (though both sides made it through their groups).
Turkey has never beaten Italy in ten previous meetings and has also lost all four of their EURO opening games (including the 2000 encounter with the Azzurri). Is Rome going to be the end of that bad run?
DENMARK VS FINLAND (COPENHAGEN, GROUP B): 12 JUNE, 18:00
Following 110 years and in excess of 750 global installations, Finland at last makes their presentation in a significant men’s competition against natural resistance, confronting Denmark for the 60th time.
Only two of those jousts have come in UEFA contest, a couple of 1-0 successes for Denmark during EURO ’88 qualifying, yet under previous teacher Markku Kanerva, Finland can outmaneuver even the greatest rivals. Urgently, they oversaw six clean sheets in qualifying, a similar number posted by Greece on their approach to EURO 2004.
Finland’s ladies are EURO regulars, and maybe they can offer some support for the men’s side; they made their finals debut at UEFA Women’s EURO 2005 and beat Denmark 2-1 to make it out of their gathering.
AUSTRIA VS NORTH MACEDONIA (BUCHAREST, GROUP C): 13 JUNE, 18:00
North Macedonia was pipped in their passing gathering by Austria prior to moving beyond Kosovo and Georgia in the end of the season games to acquire their first-historically speaking appearance at a last competition – and this rematch. Austria beat North Macedonia home and away, their 2-1 win in Vienna on 16 November 2019, with objectives from David Alaba and Stefan Lainer, securing capability.
Notwithstanding, the scenery is altogether different surprisingly in Bucharest. North Macedonia’s star name, chief, record-breaking top scorer, and most-covered player Goran Pandev scored the objective that agreed with his stance to the finals: does the 37-year-old have another milestone objective or two in him?
ENGLAND VS SCOTLAND (LONDON, GROUP D): 18 JUNE, 21:00
The last time England were EURO has in 1996, their subsequent game was their first in a significant competition against Scotland. That Wembley experience was a work of art, Alan Shearer striking right off the bat in the second half before Gary McAllister had a punishment saved, laying the ground for Paul Gascoigne’s essential cherry on top.
This is Scotland’s first EURO finals appearance from that point forward, with their last FIFA World Cup finals coming just two years after the fact. In their 115th gathering with the Auld Enemy, they will expect a celebrated success to help get them past a significant competition bunch stage without precedent for 11 endeavors. The Scots created a mixing version of Baccara’s Yes Sir, I Can Boogie after they won their play-off conclusive; will they be in the mind-set for a sing-tune after this one?
SPAIN VS POLAND (SEVILLE, GROUP E): 19 JUNE, 21:00
Robert Lewandowski thoroughly understands the weight of assumption on co-has Spain: in 2012, he covered the initial objective of the competition for Poland on home soil in Warsaw. Presently heading into his third EURO, Lewandowski faces high as can be assumptions for his own, and he will want to move a portion of his heavenly structure against Liga groups in the UEFA Champions League to this experience.
He won’t have glad recollections of his just past altercation with La Roja, a 6-0 amicable misfortune in Murcia in June 2010, not long before Spain went to South Africa to win the World Cup.
Shockingly, these two countries have just met seriously twice previously – in front of the debut EURO finals. Challenging a series of 16 ties in 1959, Spain prevailed 4-2 away and 3-0 in Madrid, Alfredo Di Stéfano scoring three objectives across the two games. Who will leave their imprint on this experience?
PORTUGAL VS FRANCE (BUDAPEST, GROUP F): 23 JUNE, 21:00
In a kind of worldwide rendition of the UEFA Super Cup, the EURO holders are facing the prevailing title holders. This is just the second time the EURO champions have met the World Cup holders as a feature of their title protection, the Netherlands has started the trend when they crushed worldwide bosses Germany in their last 1992 gathering game.
Portugal had lost ten straight games against France before they reversed the situation with that 1-0 extra-time win against the hosts in the EURO 2016 last, the most recent in their numerous epic experiences in this contest. From that point forward France has lifted their subsequent World Cup and furthermore deposed Portugal in the UEFA Nations League, a 0-0 home draw and 1-0 win in Lisbon taking Les Bleus to those finals. Who will beat the competition this time?
GERMANY VS HUNGARY (MUNICH, GROUP F): 23 JUNE, 21:00
There is no concealing spot in Group F, and having effectively invited Portugal and France to Budapest, Hungary at that point goes to confront their co-has. Their main goal: to indeed explore through to the knockout stage, having finished a 44-year EURO finals nonattendance by coming to the round of 16 out of 2016, when they beat a segment including possible victors Portugal.
Hungary finished 2020 in fine structure, conjuring an emotional late rebound to beat Iceland in their play-off last and winning advancement to the UEFA Nations League tip top by fixing their gathering in front of Turkey, Russia, and Serbia.
This will be only their third cutthroat gathering with Germany, yet those previous standoffs were both masterpieces. The Mighty Magyars crushed West Germany 8-3 in the 1954 World Cup bunch stage, just for Sepp Herberger’s side to reverse the situation in the last, winning 3-2 in Berne notwithstanding falling two down following eight minutes.