The European Championships, scheduled to be in 2020, have moved and will now take place in the summer of 2021. The coronavirus outbreak was always going to make this a tough tournament to complete, with multiple countries hosting games and a lot of travelling involved for players, staff and fans. What fans can look forward to though is the new date for the tournament in 2021. This was announced by FIFA straight away, we won’t be missing a tournament, we will have the same games but just one year later. Here we take a look at who can emerge to be victorious at the grand stage.
After an impressive run in the World Cup of 2018, reaching the semi-finals before defeat to Croatia, England have the hopes of a nation on their shoulder. This young team is expected to go close in 2021, and the additional year for Gareth Southgate’s youngsters to grow certainly won’t hurt them. Many bookmakers make England the slight favourites to win the tournament and while the prospect of an English success may feel a little alien for those supporting them, their chances are clear and obvious to see. Gareth Southgate has a batch of youngsters who have arrived on the scene together and look a strong unit. They play for each other, have a strong system and with match winners such as Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, there is plenty to be positive about.
France have been towards the top of world football for the past few years. A loss in the final of Euro 2016 on home soil hit them hard, but a win in Russia at the 2018 World Cup made up for it. Three years later they will go around Europe trying to win the Euro 2021 title to go with their World Cup. There will be plenty of interest from football punters in France, they are the team that has been there and done it in recent years. Many saw the French as being close to their peak two years ago, and the additional year wait until Euro 2021 may not be in their favour.
Many in the footballing world have been claiming that it is Belgium’s year ahead of the last two tournaments we have played. They are likely to do the same again ahead of Euro 2021. A rich talent pool came together at just the right time to elevate Belgian football into the world’s elite, but despite that, they have yet to see a trophy for their efforts. With multiple talents, there is no doubting the ability in this squad and they are certainly a team that will scare many others. However, on the big stage when they have needed to perform, they simply haven’t.
Joachim Low’s Germany selections have typically seen him remain loyal to his favoured team, and having made changes to get rid of a handful of members of the old guard after their spectacular flop at the 2018 World Cup, he is unlikely to be drawn into too many big alterations over the course of the next year. Manuel Neuer will come under pressure in goal but is likely to retain his place due to the unmoving nature of the coach coupled with his real return to form, with Niklas Sule set to play in the heart of the defence after injury. Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry should star in attack.