The much-awaited Euro 2020 tournament will kick off on June 11 with Şenol Güneş’ Turkey taking on hosts Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The Azzurri under Roberto Mancini are one of the favourites to win the tournament, but the group also features Switzerland, Turkey and Wales – who are dark horses that have stunned giants in the past.
With the second knockout spot up for the taking among three highly competitive sides, this will be one of the most exciting groups to watch out for in the tournament.
Here we look at the odds of each team in the Group A of the Euro 2020 tournament:
AZZURRI ARE THE IRREFUTABLE FAVOURITES
Italy’s resurgence under Roberto Mancini can reach its natural conclusion this summer as the Gli Azzurri are one of the dark horses who can potentially win the coveted trophy.
Under his tutelage, Italy have won a whopping 19 of 24 fixtures in the past two years, including a perfect 10 out of 10 victories in the Nations League. The Azzurri are unbeaten in their past 24 fixtures and Mancini would like to extend that record well into the Euros.
If their phenomenal form wasn’t enough, the Italians will have the added advantage of playing all their group-stage fixtures at home. With crowds now being allowed in a limited capacity, the Azzurri will be a formidable force to reckon with and only a surprise performance from all three opponents can stop their victorious run.
A CLOSE CONTEST BETWEEN TURKEY AND SWITZERLAND
The Swiss might not be the favourites in the tournament, but they are one of the most consistent and tenacious teams on the continent.
They have reached the round of 16s in their last three tournaments and would be keen to break that barrier come this summer. Vladimir Petkovic’s men have excelled since the start of the year, winning all three of their fixtures – including wins against Lithuania and Bulgaria in the World Cup qualifiers.
With the return of Xherdan Shaqiri to the squad, the Swiss are a formidable unit and are one of our sleeper teams who can cause upsets in the tournament. While they face tough competition from Turkey, Vladimir Petkovic’s side are most likely to take the second knockout spot in the group.
Turkey had a disastrous Nations League tournament, finishing last in their group with just one victory in their six matches. But Şenol Güneş has tweaked his side since, bringing in young talent and fielding newer tactics to better their play.
That bet seems to have paid off as they registered thumping victories against Netherlands (4-2) and Norway (3-0) in the World Cup qualifiers earlier in the year.
Turkey will hope to capitalise on the almost home-like atmosphere they will have at the Olympic Stadium in Baku for their matches against Switzerland and Wales. Turkey might as well emerge as one of Europe’s strongest football teams by the end of the tournament.
CAN WALES CREATE ANOTHER UPSET?
The last outing for Wales in Euro 2016 saw them make a spectacular run to the semifinals, upsetting giants like Belgium along the way. They finished at the top of their Nations League group under the current manager Ryan Giggs – stitching together an 11-match unbeaten run in 2020.
But the worry for the Welsh fans is that several of those wins came with narrow margins and against significantly weaker oppositions.
Wales suffered a blow last year as their manager Ryan Giggs was charged with assault and was replaced by Robert Page. In a team that relies more on teamwork than on individual brilliance, the loss of a manager so close to the tournament is likely to hurt their morale.
Under the former Sheffield United defender, Wales have produced four victories in six matches – losing only to Belgium in the World Cup qualifiers.
Overall, it will be a surprise if Wales manage to pull off the kind of performance that they put on the last time around. Turkey and Switzerland will be much better prepared this time, hoping to avoid being taken by surprise.
Italy’s talent, form, and home advantage will enable them to potentially win all of their fixtures and they are the favourites to end the group at the top.
The remaining spot will see a close contest between Turkey and Switzerland as both teams have redefined themselves in recent years and are hoping to emerge as the next European giants.
Wales will be hoping to repeat their 2016 performance. But troubles at home and their recent form have made them the weakest team in the group and they have to settle with a few wins.
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