EURO 2020 Group B Preview: Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Russia

Posted By Alex Blowers on June 4, 2021

Finally, we are days away from Euro 2020.

51 games over 31 days will end with one of the 24 nations competing being crowned champions of Europe.

The competition was supposed to take place last summer and be played across multiple host nations in sold-out stadiums to celebrate its 6oth anniversary. However, UEFA agreed to delay for a year so Associations could complete their domestic seasons after COVID-19 brought the game to a standstill.

We still have 11 venues across 11 countries, but capacity is limited. Squads have been increased from 23 to 26 man rosters, and teams can make up to 5 substitutions per game.

Group B features the current No.1 ranked FIFA Nation in the world, Belgium alongside Denmark, Russia, and Finland.

EURO 2020 BELGIUM PREVIEW

Age is starting to creep up on Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation.’ This will be their last realistic chance of winning a major international tournament. All the focus in the build-up to their opening game against Russia will be the form and fitness of three key players.

Axel Witsel is not fully recovered from an Achilles injury sustained in January. Captain Eden Hazard has struggled for form and not played for his country in 18 months. Kevin De Bruyne is set to miss the opening game as he recovers from the facial injury he picked up in the Champions League Final. 

Fortunately, Roberto Martínez has an embarrassment of riches available to him, and they should top this group comfortably.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

Belgium to win the Group -139 | Belgium to Finish in Top 2 -835

EURO 2020 ROSTER

MANAGER: Roberto Martínez

GK: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Matz Selz (RC Strasbourg)

DEF: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin), Jason Denayer (Olympique Lyonnais), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Thomas Vermaelen (Vissel Kobe), Jan Vertonghen (SL Benfica)

MID: Timothy Castagne (Leicester City), Nacer Chadli (Basaksehir FK), Yannick Carrasco (Atlético Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Leander Dendoncker (Wolves), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund), Dennis Praet (Leicester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Axel Witsel (Dortmund)

FWD: Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Jeremy Doku (Stade Rennais), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Leandro Trossard (Brighton)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

Blgium Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

ROMELU LUKAKU

Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer is coming off a remarkable season. His 24 goals and 11 assists helped Inter Milan dethrone Juventus and lift the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years. One of the best strikers in the world, he will be tasked with leading the line and shouldering the attacking responsibility in the opening games.

EURO 2020 DENMARK PREVIEW

Denmark comes into the tournament in good form scoring 14 goals and conceding none in their opening three 2022 World Cup qualifiers. They will be difficult to break down with Delaney and Højbjerg screening their solid backline. I have a feeling the Danes will be the tournament’s dark horse and are a good shout to make it to the Quarterfinals.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

Denmark to win the Group +260 | Denmark to Finish in Top 2 -295

EURO 2020 ROSTER

MANAGER: Kasper Hjulmand

GK: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Jonas Lössl (FC Midtjylland), Frederik Rønnow (FC Schalke 04)

DEF: Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Simon Kjær (AC Milan), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Joachim Andersen (Fulham), Daniel Wass (Valencia), Joakim Mæhle (Atalanta), Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton), Nicolai Boilesen (FC Copenhagen), Zanka (FC Copenhagen)

MID: Mathias Jensen (Brentford), Christian Nørgaard (Brentford), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham), Thomas Delaney (Borussia Dortmund), Anders Christiansen (Malmö FF), Christian Eriksen (Inter Milan), Mikkel Damsgaard (Sampdoria), Robert Skov (TSG Hoffenheim)

FWD: Martin Braithwaite (Barcelona), Andreas Cornelius (Parma), Andreas Skov Olsen (Bologna), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Kasper Dolberg (OGC Nice), Jonas Wind (FC Copenhagen)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

Denmark Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Christian Eriksen, Yussuf Poulsen, Kasper Schmeichel

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Inter Milan’s playmaker has been in terrific form this season, helping them win Serie A. He will be given a license to roam whilst Delaney and Højbjerg sit deep. Eriksen’s quality at set-pieces will be a valuable asset in the knockout stages.

EURO 2020 FINLAND PREVIEW

Not a lot is expected from Finland, who take part in their first-ever international tournament. Their squad is comprised of largely unknown players, with Hrádecky, Pukki, and Kamara the only recognizable names. However, that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly, as France found out back in November 2020 when they suffered a shock 2-0 defeat in an international friendly.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

Finland to win the Group +3000 | Finland to Finish in Top 2 +950

EURO 2020 ROSTER

MANAGER: Markku Kanerva

GK: Lukáš Hrádecky (Bayer Leverkusen), Jesse Joronen (Brescia), Anssi Jaakkola (Bristol Rovers)

DEF: Paulus Arajuuri (Pafos FC), Robert Ivanov (Warta Poznań), Thomas Lam (PEC Zwolle), Daniel O’Shaughnessy (HJK), Jukka Raitala (Minnesota United FC), Joona Toivio (BK Häcken), Jere Uronen (KRC Genk), Leo Väisänen (IF Elfsborg), Sauli Väisänen (ChievoVerona)

MID: Nikolai Alho (MTK Budapest), Fredrik Jensen (FC Augsburg), Glen Kamara (Rangers), Joni Kauko (Esbjerg fB), Robin Lod (Minnesota United FC), Rasmus Schüller (Djugårdens FC), Pyry Soiri (Esbjerg fB), Tim Sparv (AE Larisa), Robert Taylor (SK Brann), Onni Valakari (Pafos FC)

FWD: Marcus Forss (Brentford), Lassi Lappalainen (CF Montreal), Joel Pohjanpalo (FC Union Berlin), Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

Finland Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Teemu Pukki, Glen Kamara, Lukáš Hrádecky

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

TEEMU PUKKI  

Has been in brilliant form this season, scoring 26 goals to help Norwich City get promoted back to the Premier League. He scored 10 of Finland’s 16 goals in qualifying to lead them into their first international tournament and is two away from matching Jari Litmanen’s goal-scoring record.

Pukki’s a doubt for the opening game against Denmark after damaging his ankle ligaments in early May. His movement and ability to lead the link will be a massive loss, and the whole country will be hoping he can recover in time.

EURO 2020 RUSSIA PREVIEW

Russia will be hoping they can replicate their 2018 World Cup exploits and make it to the Quarterfinals again. However, they have home advantage in their opening two games, and a lot of their success will depend on how well Golovin and Miranchuk can supply Dzyuba.

They will ask questions of Belgium and Denmark but ultimately fall short and exit at the Group Stage.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

Russia to win the Group +525 | Russia to Finish in Top 2 +170

EURO 2020 ROSTER

GK: Yuri Dyupin (Rubin Kazan), Matvei Safonov (FC Krasnodar), Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow)

DEF: Igor Diveev (CSKA Moscow), Georgi Dzhikiya (Spartak Moscow), Mário Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vyacheslav Karavaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Fedor Kudryashov (Antalyaspor), Andrey Semenov (Akhmat Grozny)

MID: Dmitri Barinov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Denis Cheryshev (Valencia), Daniil Fomin (Dinamo Moscow), Aleksandr Golovin (AS Monaco), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Andrey Mostovoy (Zenit St. Petersburg), Maksim Mukhin (CSKA Moscow), Magomed Ozdoev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Rifat Zhemaletdinov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow)

FWD: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit St. Petersburg), Aleksey Ionov (FC Krasnodar), Denis Makarov (Rubin Kazan), Aleksei Miranchuk (Atalanta), Aleksandr Sobolev (Spartak Moscow), Anton Zabolotnyi (FC Sochi)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

Russia Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Artem Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev, Aleksandr Golovin

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

ARTEM DZYUBA

The 6’6″ striker has been prolific on the international stage scoring 29 goals in 50 appearances. He’s been in brilliant form in the Russian Premier League as well finishing top goalscorer with 20 this season and helping Zenit St. Petersburg win the title.

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