Surprise package of the tournament?

El Zoido

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:lol:

England will be lucky to qualify from their group
They’re going to be at home in every game. It’s not a gimme but it does give them an advantage. It’s a strange setup, England could win it by playing every game at Wembley except the QF, doesn’t really seem fair. Sure they’d get a Liverpool-style asterisk if they won it.
 

christian bennett

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I think Scotland will surprise a lot of people I’m backing them and England to qualify from there group and think a lot of people are underestimating Italy too.
 

FootballHQ

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How’s Austria looking? They seem to have a decent group of players.
In mutiny with their coach given what was said on comms last night. In fairness they looked o.k. Depends what state Arnautovic is in these days as he could make difference in final third if anything like he was in premier league for some seasons.

Ignoring them though as if I was on here before euro 2016 I would've had them as a surprise package and they completely bombed in a relatively kind group. :lol:
 

JJ12

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Italy because I’ve backed them to win it
 

Luke1995

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Average team and in a transitional moment between generations. Cherchesov seems to have run out of ideas over the last year (and he didn't have many to begin with) but the team has had a lot of injury problems to be fair to him. Few of the young players that have shown potential since 2018 have steadily improved, lots have already had serious injuries or become injury-prone. Chalov, who had the best breakthrough season, hadn't kicked on since and doesn't even make the squad.

It's a team that is steady and organised enough , so that it is yet to slip up against teams that are obviously weaker, but has not been able to step up and get any surprising wins. it also has now shown a consistent tendency of losing important games against teams on the same rough level, with failed late games in back to back nations league campaigns against Sweden, Turkey and Serbia where winning just one would have seen qualification to the A tier. There's also the recent World Cup qualifiers trio where after beating Malta and Slovenia, a win against a struggling and out of form Slovakia would have almost taken Slovakia out of contention already. Russia lost and didn't show much urgency imo, which keeps the group wide open.

Defence is the biggest problem. Mostly slow, mediocre players and the standout Mario Fernandes is starting to slow down/become more inconsistent due to wear and tear. He plays constantly for cska whenever anywhere near full fitness.

I'd expect a third place in the group. Denmark from what i have watched seem like a better, steadier version of Russia that have managed to become more than the sum of the parts where Russia haven't. Against Belgium i think cherchesov will play overly defensively, the tactical setup against Poland a few days ago seemed a rehearsal for this. He got burned trying to be more aggressive against them in the 4-1 qualifying loss, where despite plenty of possession Russia were cut through easily by counters and the defenders couldn't cope with the Hazard brothers pace. Finland are always very motivated against Russia, i'd much rather have got North Macedonia from the "minnows"
Does most of the group got good european experience or is the squad based mostly on players from the russian league ? It would be important to have players across all nations. It helps tactically.
 

Yagami

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I doubt that. We don't score enough goals. Our best finisher got injured in the last friendly.
Lobotka is a very good player but obviously didn't play enough at Napoli and he's not in form based on the last matches. Our defence is basically just Škriniar and Dúbravka.

We will be very lucky if we qualify out of the group imo.
I watched all of your qualifying matches and, yes, goals are a huge problem. I think your general play is quite decent in that you can keep the ball well at times with Skriniar keeping his composure at the back, and Lobotka and Hamsik being able to keep control under pressure, but, like you know, the times you work yourselves into a good position to score, your lack of a real goal threat is glaring. I think Mak, Kucka and Rusnak are decent but, unfortunately, are just lacking that quality needed to make an impact at this level.

As for Lobotka, I've liked him since his debut at Celta but you have to worry that his lack of game time at Napoli may prevent him from being in peak form. I thought he was very good to brilliant in all of your games leading up to the N.Ireland match - even the 4-0 defeat to Croatia - but I thought he was abysmal in said match against N.Ireland. Nearly cost you couple of goals with such avoidable, simple mistakes. I really hope he gets back to previous form for this tournament but I'm not optimistic!
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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Does most of the group got good european experience or is the squad based mostly on players from the russian league ? It would be important to have players across all nations. It helps tactically.
One of the most insular squads in the tournament and the most from all countries that don't have a top 4-5 league. Only four players outside of RPL.
 

Kopral Jono

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I'm rooting for ze german to reach semi
Yeah, I'm quite surprised that no one is taking them more seriously. Like you I fancy them to reach the semis at least. In the end they're Germany and it's going to be Loew's swan song, they'll make sure they do well.
 

GuyfromAustria

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In 2016 I was rather optimistic and then we were poor. This time I don't expect anything because of our awful manager, so we'll probably surprise everyone. Or not.
 

stefan92

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Yeah, I'm quite surprised that no one is taking them more seriously. Like you I fancy them to reach the semis at least. In the end they're Germany and it's going to be Loew's swan song, they'll make sure they do well.
There are already reports of key players being not happy with Löw's tactical approach for the tournament (mostly about 5 vs 4 at the back - Löw preferring 5, the players would like 4). Next to no one there seems to care about Löw, so if they are motivated it is due to them wanting to win something, but not because of being this Löw's "swan song". He can just feck off in most of the publics opinion and probably a lot of players agree, except a few second-string players who would nowhere near the squad if someone else was responsible for the selection.
 

DWelbz19

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Denmark or Turkey have a decent run until the QFs. Assuming both finish second, they’ll play each other in the R16. Gets a bit tight in the QFs - it’ll probably be Netherlands or 3rd in group of Death F.
 

Hughes35

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Turkey for me.

I think Wales also have the potential to upset a few. If Dan James, Ramsey and Bale turn up they could be a handful.