EURO 2020 Group D Preview: Croatia, Czech Republic, England and Scotland

Written By Alex Blowers on June 6, 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 D features one of the tournament favorites, England, alongside Croatia, who beat them in the Semi-finals at World Cup 2018. Both should qualify comfortably, with the Czech Republic and Scotland not posing much of a threat.

EURO 2020 CROATIA PREVIEW

The 2018 World Cup finalists will be hoping they can go one better this time around. Their biggest strength is midfield, with Luka Modrić, Marcelo Brozović, and Mateo Kovačić capable of dominating possession and the center of the pitch. In addition, Andrej Kramarić had an excellent season for TSG Hoffenheim, scoring 25 goals in 34 appearances. If they can get him firing, they have a good chance of making the later stages.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

Croatia to win the Group +350 | Croatia to Finish in Top 2 -150

EURO 2020 ROSTER

MANAGER: Zlatko Dalić

GK: Dominik Livaković (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Lovre Kalinić (HNK Hajduk Split), Simon Sluga (Luton Town)

DEF: Šime Vrsaljko (Atlético Madrid), Borna Barišić (Rangers), Duje Ćaleta-Car (Olympique de Marseille), Dejan Lovren (Zenit St. Petersburg), Josip Juranović (Legia Warszawa), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Joško Gvardiol (Leipzig), Domagoj Bradarić (Lille OSC), Mile Škorić (NK Osijek)

MID: Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozović (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Genoa), Nikola Vlašić (CSKA Moscow), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta), Ivan Perišić (Inter Milan), Josip Brekalo (VfL Wolfsburg), Mislav Oršić (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Luka Ivanušec (GNK Dinamo Zagreb)

FWD: Ante Rebić (AC Milan), Bruno Petković (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Andrej Kramarić (TSG Hoffenheim)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

Croatia Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Luka Modrić, Marcelo Brozović, Mateo Kovačić

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

LUKA MODRIĆ

We saw in the Champions League that he is still very capable of producing big performances at 35-years-old. The country’s most-capped player and the captain is the heartbeat of this side. Fans will be hoping he can lead them into the later stages of the tournament.

EURO 2020 CZECH REPUBLIC PREVIEW

The Czech Republic comes into the tournament in poor form and wrapped in controversy. One of their standout defenders, Ondřej Kúdela, is serving a 10 match UEFA ban for racially abusing Scotland’s Glen Kamara back in March.

Not much is expected from Jaroslav Šilhavý’s side, who were beaten 4-0 by Italy in a recent warm-up game. Their best hope of making it out of the group is to sit deep and try to win on the counter.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

Czech Republic to win the Group +1200 | Czech Republic to Finish in Top 2 +200

EURO 2020 ROSTER

MANAGER: Jaroslav Šilhavý

GK: Tomáš Vaclík (Sevilla), Jirí Pavlenka (Werder Bremen), Aleš Mandous (SK Sigma Olomouc)

DEF: Vladimír Coufal (West Ham), Pavel Kaderábek (TSG Hoffenheim), Ondrej Čelustka (Sparta Praha), Tomáš Kalas (Bristol City), David Zima (Slavia Praha), Jan Boril (Slavia Praha), Aleš Mateju (Brescia), Jakub Brabec (Viktoria Plzen)

MID: Lukáš Masopust (Slavia Praha), Vladimír Darida (Hertha Berlin), Tomáš Souček (West Ham), Antonín Barák (Hellas Verona), Alex Král (Spartak Moscow), Tomáš Holeš (Slavia Praha), Petr Ševčík (Slavia Praha), Jakub Jankto (Sampdoria), Adam Hložek (Sparta Praha), Jakub Pešek (FC Slovan Liberec)

FWD: Patrik Schick (Bayer Leverkusen), Michael Krmenčík (PAOK), Matej Vydra (Burnley), Tomáš Pekhart (Legia Warszawa)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

Czech Republic Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Tomas Souček, Vladimír Coufal, Patrik Schick

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

PATRIK SCHICK

The Czech Republic’s success will depend heavily on Schick’s form. The Bayer Leverkusen forward faded towards the end of the season, scoring once – against the awful FC Schalke 04 – in the last 9 games. With Scotland up first, his country needs him at his best if they are to have any chance of making it out of the group stages.

EURO 2020 ENGLAND PREVIEW

This is England’s best chance to win a major tournament for quite some time. All three group games, the semi-finals, and the final, will be held at Wembley. Gareth Southgate has a wealth of attacking options available, with Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, and Marcus Rashford all pushing to start.

The Three Lions do have issues at the back. There are doubts Harry Maguire will recover in time from his ankle injury for England’s opening game against Croatia. Trent Alexander-Arnold has withdrawn from the squad after picking up a thigh injury in England’s 1-0 friendly win over Austria.

Southgate will pick a replacement after Sunday’s final warm-up game against Romania, with Jesse Lingard and James Ward-Prowse favorites to take his slot.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

England to win the Group -245 | England to Finish in Top 2 -1250

EURO 2020 ROSTER

MANAGER: Gareth Southgate

GK: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Brom)

DEF: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atlético Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Reece James (Chelsea)

MID: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea)

FWD: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

England Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

HARRY KANE

The Three Lions captain is coming off a magnificent season where he took his game to the next level, dropping deep and getting involved in the buildup. That led to him topping the Premier League goal-scoring (23) and assist (14) charts in the same season; the first player to do it since Andrew Cole in 93/94.

The 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner is the favorite to add the Euro 2020 Golden Boot to his growing list of individual awards. However, he would sacrifice the opportunity if it meant he could lead England to glory for the first time since 1966.

EURO 2020 SCOTLAND PREVIEW

This will be Scotland’s first appearance at a major international tournament since World Cup 1998. They shouldn’t be underestimated after overcoming the much-fancied Serbia in the qualifying playoffs. Steve Clarke has made them difficult to beat by going with a back three. They will cause any side problems down the left flank with Andrew Robertson’s and Kieran Tierney’s quality.

ODDS TO WIN GROUP / FINISH TOP 2

Scotland to win the Group +1900 | Scotland to Finish in Top 2 +310

EURO 2020 ROSTER

MANAGER: Steve Clarke

GK: Craig Gordon (Heart of Midlothian), David Marshall (Derby County), Jon McLaughlin (Rangers)

Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Jack Hendry (Celtic), Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest), Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell), Nathan Patterson (Rangers), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Celtic), John Fleck (Sheffield United), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), David Turnbull (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Newcastle United)

Forwards: Che Adams (Southampton), Lyndon Dykes (QPR), James Forrest (Celtic), Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian)

POSSIBLE STARTING XI

Scotland Euro 2020 Starting Lineup - Andrew Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay, John McGinn, Che Adams

KEY PLAYER TO WATCH

ANDREW ROBERTSON

Their captain is one of the best fullbacks in the world. His pace, work rate, crossing ability, and forward runs will be key to Scotland’s success in the final third, and they will look to him to lead the attack.

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