Euro 2021 – Battle Of The Tricolours

Euro 2021 – Battle Of The Tricolours

Fast forward exactly one month from now. Wembley will have hosted 2 stunning semi-finals and the last pair standing will be plotting their tactics for the big one. We’ve waited nearly 2000 days since the last final and now we’re about to crown a successor to Portugal, the current Champions.

But, who will make the final? I’m not sure… there’s a lot of talented squads out there and the events of what has been a very unusual season could play a part.

That said, I’ve used a prediction chart and I believe I’ve worked out who the semifinalists will be. If I’m correct, and that’s a big if, it promises to be a battle between old school Euro superpowers.

Euro chart

In the first game France will play Italy. Last years beaten finalists will attempt to become all the fourth team to win back-to-back World Cup and European Championships. In fairness, they were also the third team to do so winning both the World Cup in 1998 and Euro 2000, joining both west Germany and Spain in that elite club. If Didier Deschamps does lift the trophy he will become the first person ever to win the World Cup and European championship both as a player and a manager. It will be no easy feat as they have been drawn in the unquestionable Group of Death.

However the strength in depth in the reigning world champions squad borders on on fair with them having at least two world-class players available in every single position. Whilst strong all over the park, the attack is it crown jewel. Kylian Bappe, who became the youngest scorer in World Cup final History in 2018, has only improved since.

2018 so Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years. Now, under the guidance of former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, the Azzurri is back on the global stage with a point to prove. Under his tenure Italy has won 21 of the 30 games including 10 wins in 10 qualifying group matches. Favourites to win their group, Italy both some of the hottest young talent in world soccer, including scintillating Juventus forward Frederico Chiesa and Inter Milan duo Bastoni and Barella.

The second semi-final sees neighbours Netherlands and Germany battle it out for a spot in the final. A chronic underperformer at major tournaments over the last decade, Euro 2020 Promised to be Netherlands best chance of a trophy in a long time. That was until it star player and captain Virgil Van Dyke suffered a season ending injury back in October. The defenders absence will be a huge blow for manager Frank de Boer who will be hoping Matthijs de Ligt emerges from his recent doldrums to lead the back line. The Oranje Do you have plenty of dynamism in midfield and firepower upfront so there will be hoping to blow opponents out of the water.

Germany are in less than ideal shape coming into this tournament but, if we know one thing, it’s never ever write the Germans off. The German manager, Joachim Low, has already agreed to resign after the tournament and a team finds it self in an absolute rut in terms of form. And its last five games, Germany has lost to minnows, North Macedonia, drawn with Denmark, and been hammered 6-0 by Spain. Still, they are a renowned big tournament team and whilst it has not won the European Championships in a long time, it’s made it to at least the semifinals on each of the last three occasions.

So, whilst I can’t predict an outright winner, I do suggest that we are in for a feast of football over the next four weeks and hopefully ahead we’ll all feel a little bit more like normality is returning at the end of it. Who knows, maybe that normality is Germany drawing its first game then steadily improving and winning the final on penalties… we’ve been here before!

Who do I want to win? Netherlands, of course! My absolute favourite international team since the heady days of Koeman, Bosman, Guillet, van Basten and Rijkaard, I’d love to see them light up the game again with their irrepressible brand of football. Fingers crossed!

Fixtures and TV Guide here.

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