UEFA Euro 2020 Preview: Group C and D

The Euro 2020 is set to deliver plenty of excitement

The footballing world will now turn its attention to the international stage this weekend as the UEFA Euro 2020 gets underway this weekend. The tournament will span through the month until July.

Groups A and B have been previewed in a previous article. Here is what to expect in Groups C and D ahead of the kick-off of the tournament.

Group C

This group features the Netherlands, Austria, Ukraine and newcomers, North Macedonia.

The Oranje have been regarded as football’s ‘nearly men’ with regards to international football competitions. In recent years, they have dipped in pedigree after failing to qualify for the Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

The Netherlands will be out to make a mark

However, with former player, Frank de Boer now in charge, they have an opportunity to push keenly for the title. Indeed, they have been on the up since the start of the UEFA Nations League.

Frenkie De Jong will be tasked with the responsibility of leading the team out of the group stage.

Austria will be participating in its third Euro tournament. Their form heading into this competition has been dreadful.

Frank Foda will be counting on his very experienced legs for this tournament. Newly-signed Real Madrid defender, David Alba will lead the Austrians. He is unlikely to play as a defender as he has been utilised further forward for the National Team. Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer is also one to watch out for.

Ukraine will be brimming with confidence ahead of this competition after the huge strides of improvement they have made in recent years. Andriy Shevchenko will be keen to make a mark with his team.

Shevchencko’s men are the fourth youngest squad in this finals.

Manchester City’s Olesandr Zinchenko and Andriy Yarmolenko will be Ukraine’s key players.

North Macedonia will participate in its first major finals. They qualified via the playoffs after coming third in Group G. Their most recent 2-1 win against Germany has shown how much growth they have experienced in the last few years.

Veteran, Goran Pandev and Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski will prove important for this team.

Group D

This is one of more interesting groups of the Euro 2020. It pits England alongside Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic.

England, to start with, will look to qualify with ease from this group.

Football could be coming home this summer

The Three Lions have a blend of exciting young players in Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount. Liverpool defender, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out due to injury.

Gareth Southgate will hope to go a step better than his semi-final feat at the last major international competition.

If England will achieve success at this tournament, Harry Kane’s will be pivotal.

Croatia was the surprise team at the cup tournament in Russia having gone as far as the final.

However, things have not been rosy for Vatreni. They had to dig deep to claim top spot in Group E of the qualifiers.

Zlatko Dalic will be banking on his most influential figure, Luka Modric for inspiration.

Czech Republic has been anything but convincing in build-up to this competition. They picked the second automatic spot in group A at the expense of Kosovo who pushed closely. Their performance at the World Cup qualifiers has also been disappointing.

Bayern Leverkusen forward, Patrick Schick is the team’s most important player.

Scotland is one of the oldest participants of the Euro having featured in the first edition in England in 1872.

However, this is only their third outing in this tournament. They managed to qualify through the back door having finished atop group C in the UEFA Nations League before overcoming Israel and Serbia in the playoffs.

Steve Clarke’s men will be counting on home support, owing that they play two of their group stage matches at Hampden Park.

Captain, Andrew Robertson and Kieran will be Scotland’s impact men.