Here’s everything you should look out for in Group A of Euro 2020.
As we’re now counting down the days until Euro 2020 kicks off, we are here to provide a preview for the competition, as well as some bold predictions.
We’ll kick things off with Group A – a very tight group consisting of Italy, Switzerland, Wales and Turkey.
Euro 2020 preview – Group A
We’ll start with the favourites to top the group. Italy have a rich history when it comes to international football. A history that consists of classy passers, clinical attackers and immovable defenders. This current crop of Italians has two of the three.
The Azzuri will be extremely difficult to beat, with a top tier defence featuring Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, and a talented goalkeeper in Gianluigi Donnarumma.
If the midfield consists of Marco Verratti, Jorginho and Nicolò Barella – Italy will be a serious problem for any opposition. The perfect blend of chaos and composure. Of intelligence and athleticism. Don’t be surprised if an English side spends a stupid amount of money on Barella after the tournament ends.
But if Verratti is not fit enough, the side could struggle without him.
If they can get any of their forwards firing, they could be genuine contenders, though we feel like scoring goals might be an issue, despite the undeniable talent of Ciro Immobile and Federico Chiesa.
Best Player: Marco Verratti, if fit.
While this is definitely a talented group of Swiss players, and the international side hasn’t lost a game in eight matches (including games against Spain and Germany), they have been drawn in a tough group.
Italy should have enough to get out of the group, while Wales and Turkey will be seriously up for the challenge.
So simply put, the Swiss need to play very well in every game to get out of the group, and they might not have enough in the tank.
✅ #Euro2020 warm-up win
🔜 Liechtenstein on June 3
Granit captained Switzerland to a 2-1 win over USA yesterday ✊🇨🇭 pic.twitter.com/PfqS00fMBM
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 31, 2021
Talisman Xherdan Shaqiri has sat on the bench all season at Liverpool, and while Granit Xhaka is one of their better players, he has proven time and time again for Arsenal that he can not be trusted.
Embolo will be a constant threat up top as well, but will have to have his finishing boots on if they are to have any chance of getting out of the group.
Prediction: Group stage exit, or maybe the Round of 16 at best.
Best Player: Xherdan Shaqiri
It’s incredible that Wales have qualified for the tournament at all, and quite serendipitous that Ryan Giggs won’t be in charge due to ongoing legal issues, as his chaotic personal life may have held them back and been a distraction at the competition.
Robert Page will come in as manager and simply hope to steady the ship, in an attempt to focus purely on the football, which could act in Wales’ favour.
They will have absolutely no problem creating chances against any of the other group teams. Aaron Ramsey, Daniel James and David Brooks are all creative, attacking players who will cause any defence problems on their day.
— FA WALES (@FAWales) June 2, 2021
Gareth Bale showed in the latter half of the season that he still has the magic in his legs, and will put away any half-chance given to him by the creative midfield.
But the goalkeeper and defense is simply not good enough to compete at this level, and will be picked apart with ease. Expect a couple of goal-fests when Wales take to the pitch.
Prediction: Group stage exit
Best Player: Gareth Bale.
The more you think about this group, the more interesting it gets. It is almost impossible to split Wales, Turkey and Switzerland, but that is what we have to do.
Turkey kept eight clean sheets and conceded only three goals in the qualifying campaign, and are a very solid side.
Burak Yilmaz scored 16 goals in Ligue 1, helping them miraculously win the league in France, and is coming into the tournament filled with confidence.
Soyuncu at the back will be a familiar face for Premier League fans and could be the leader the side needs to steer them to success.
They might not be the most exciting team to watch, but they might just make it out of this tight group.
Prediction: Round of 16
Best Player: Burak Yilmaz.
That concludes the Group A section of our Euro 2020 preview. Make sure to check in on Monday for Group B.