Euro 2020 preview: Group E
Written by The Final Ball on 11/06/2021
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We’re almost there, time for Group E!
One of the few squads that one player completely changes the mood of the preview, the fact that Sweden had to resort to calling Zlatan back into international football, only for him to get injured and miss out on the squad selection, although the pressure and the circus that Zlatan brings will diminish, the quality in this squad is sparse. However, they do have a knack of making things difficult for teams and maybe it’s time for Alexander Isak & Dejan Kulusevksi to shine on the biggest stage. They tend to deal with the teams of similar standing quite well and that is more or less what they have to deal with in this group
Player to Watch: Dejan Kulusevski
Prediction: 4/5 points, then a comfy loss in the knockouts
Lewandowski FC, Poland love nothing more than to destroy every single team in qualifying, then enjoy a free holiday at whatever destination UEFA has picked. However, they did manage to get to the quarter finals of the last edition without losing a game, smelling of Switzerland syndrome and with Lewandowski fresh home from getting the goalscoring record in Germany from Gerd Muller, maybe he’ll fancy himself to carry on with that and get a few goals in this tournament to boost his claim for the Ballon d’Or. Depending on how the knockouts form, they’ll be optimistic to match 2016 but they could go out with a whimper and nobody would really notice
Player to Watch: Piotr Zielinski
Flattering to deceive is their speciality, as everything that goes through Marek Hamsik tends to look great without causing too much critical damage to the opposition. However, in typical East European fashion, they are a difficult side to come up against(just ask anyone from Ireland, North & Republic), and they’ll be looking to tap into the heritage of the great Czechoslovakia team where the Panenka was born. Like a few teams, they’ll scrap for points but I think this tournament ends after 3 games.
Player to Watch: Milan Skriniar
Prediction: Just like the Panenka, they rarely look brilliant. Bottom
The former serial bottlers, between 2008-2012, Spain changed their legacy and instilled a fear in the opposition (mainly that they won’t touch the ball all game), but now they’re in this “false dawn” where the great generation built from predominately Madrid & Barca players are long gone, and nobody really knows the potential of the next one, especially now that they have so much to live up to. Just like in the World Cup, Real Madrid are the focal point of the drama around this squad as Spain have basically replaced the great Sergio Ramos (due to injury) with Basque yet “exiled from the France squad” stalwart Aymeric Laporte. Based on his quality it’s seems like a no brainer as he was seemingly wasted being on the periphery of the French national team, and considering the other defensive but injured legend Gerard Pique has been replaced by Eric Garcia, it looks like they need every top defender that they can find. Moving further up the pitch, Koke aside, no-one seems to be guaranteed a place on the pitch, but with plenty of emerging young talent to choose from, you can see them figuring out something that will result in some positive performances and steady progression back to the better days of 10 years ago. Goalkeeper is a big problem for them
Player to Watch: Pedri
Prediction: Quarter-final, maybe further if the draw is kind