A group that Irish eyes will definitely be on in the coming weeks.
Group D is a damn good one this summer, and while it’s not Euro 2020’s group of death, it’s not a million miles off. It consists of England, Scotland, Croatia and the Czech Republic.
Irish eyes will be watching Group D extremely closely, for a number of reasons. You might be rooting for Scotland and England. You might be rooting for one of them, and potentially finding yourself with a strange affinity towards Croatia and the Czechs.
We won’t judge either way. But purely from a footballing perspective, it’s a very interesting group. Here are our predictions:
Euro 2020: Group D preview.
Once again, the English media has built up their side massively, but for once it seems kind of fair. They have some incredible players all across the park, to the point that one world-class attacker will almost definitely be left on the bench.
How many teams will be able to do that this summer?
But we don’t expect it to be smooth sailing for Southgate’s side. Their defence is weak, and they have some injuries in crucial positions. They will be at home for some big games, but it’s also extremely likely they play Germany, France or Portugal in the Round of 16, and that could be the end of them.
Time will tell.
Prediction: Round of 16.
Best Player: Harry Kane.
The game between Scotland and England will undeniably be one of the biggest of the entire tournament, and it will be impossible to call.
England will of course be the more talented side, but in a game as big as that, it could just come down to who wants it more on the day.
This golden generation of Scottish players are unlucky to be in such a difficult group, but with players like Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney at the back – they’ve got a chance of getting a result against any side.
Adding Che Adams to the frontline was a great move by the Scots, but we don’t see them finishing any better than third place. They’ll hope to be one of the best third placed teams, but in Group D we couldn’t be too surprised with any outcome.
Prediction: Group stage exit.
Best Player: Andrew Robertson.
It is truly wild that the team who came second in last year’s World Cup are valued at 33/1 to win the next competition, but such is the nature of the Croatian squad.
Luka Modric, at 35 years of age, is still their talisman, and Ivan Perisic will still be providing a threat down the flanks. Plus their defenders are mostly quite long in the tooth, and could definitely be caught out.
However, they will be tough opposition for any side, and could even give England a long day if things go right for them.
Prediction: Round of 16
Best Player: Luka Modric.
The Czech Republic.
Two lads from the Czech Republic came to the Premier League recently and made the league look like quite a handy game of five-a-side (Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal), and they could pose England and the rest of Group D a serious threat from set-pieces.
They also play a really high press that could definitely do a job on some of the other teams in the group, ensuring every game in Group D is going to be a must-watch.
Prediction: Round of 16
Best Player: Tomáš Souček
Take a look at our predictions for Group C here.