UEFA EURO 2020 Preview: SLM Report

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(PC: The Guardian)

Rome: There are going to be stars galore on the field when the UEFA Euro 2020 kicks-off on Friday (June 11). The likes of Cristano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski will be seen ready to propel their side to the glory. The tournament though was meant to be held last year but due the rage pandemic situation it wasn’t possible to organise however, it still holds its name as “EURO 2020”.  55 nations went through the qualification round with 24 coming out for the grand event for the ultimate supremacy in European football.

Apart from Copa America, this is one of the widely popular continental football events in the world. Interestingly, UEFA has opted for a bit of twist in the schedule of the fixtures with matches to be played all across the Europe instead of being organised in one particular nation as the celebratory edition of the tournament’s 60th anniversary. The opening game is scheduled at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy while the Grand Final will be played at the prestigious Wembley Stadium in London on July 12.

 

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Portugal, the defending champions will be one of the contenders for the title alongside World Champions France, Germany, England and Italy. Netherlands and Belgium though  could bring a bit of surprise. Germany and Spain are actually the jointly the winners for most times with three with the latter being only nation to lift the trophy on consecutive occasions.

France without a doubt will be the team to deal with superstars like Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante ready dominate opposition on any given day. Portugal despite being the defending champions are somewhat undervalued despite playing well in recent year even without their talismanic skipper Ronaldo however, they are drawn in the group of death with France and Germany with fixtures in this group being a few mouthwatering ones for the neutrals.

Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski will look to continue their superb domestic form in this tournament too. Italy and Netherlands will be determined to make a statement after both the nations failed to qualify for the tournament the last time. Italians under Roberto Mancini were unbeaten in the qualifications with “Gli Azzurri” seeing an emergence of a new generation of talented individuals.  England too has witnessed a new bunch of lads coming through the ranks challenging the big guns and spearheaded by Kane will be desperate to bring trophy with a squad with great potential.  On the other hand nations like Croatia, Denmark and Sweden can bring that surprise element as opposed to the spices of the these big boys. It will all be seen in full throttle when Turkey and Italy lock horns in the curtain raiser in Rome.

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