The long-awaited Euro 2020 is just around the corner and it is certainly looking to heat up the summer as the top football teams in european champions league prepare to duke it out for the top spot in the continent. The final squads have all but been confirmed and from the pool of talent this time around, it’s definitely going to be one of the most competitive rosters in recent memory.
Favourites-in-the-tournament France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, England, and reigning champs Portugal have announced a strong lineup of players. And the managers, coaches, and off-field members are sparing no expense in ensuring that they bring the cup home.
If you’re wondering which team is looking most likely to win the prestigious uefa champions league 2021, fret not! We’re here to offer some predictions, as well as to take a look at what others have to say about the teams competing in the quadrennial tournament.
The Belgium national team have been on the hunt for a major title win since they started to perform as serious contenders at the international level a decade ago, and this summer tournament is no different.
However, it would seem that this time, the Belgium team has a high probability of winning with their much-lauded golden generation featuring the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Kevin De Bruyne taking charge.
They’ve even proven to be capable of beating the big players in tournaments in the past as evidenced by their 2 – 1 quarter-final win over Brazil in 2018. Since then, De Bryune and Lukaku, in particular, have taken their games to greater heights in order to finally win the big one for their country.
Unsurprisingly, England are one of the favourites to win Euro 2020 after enduring a 55-year hunt for the Henri Delaunay Cup. And while many have soured on England’s chances of finally bringing it home — the Three Lions still remain the favourites for every tournament since 1966.
Fueled by a fantastic performance at the 2018 World Cup which saw England reach the semi-finals, as well as the team bolstered by a young and exciting lineup of technical players, England will certainly appreciate the fact that most of the competition (including the latter stages) will be played on home soil.
The French national team are the reigning world champions, having lifted the World Cup in 2018 in Russia and coming into this major European tournament with the momentum and gusto that comes with being the champs.
Simply put, the depth of the French team is also on another level compared to the other teams in the Euros. From Kylian Mbappe to Paul Pogba to N’Golo Kante to Antoine Griezmann to Raphael Varane, here are already five examples of world-class performers that will surely be bolstered by the return of Karim Benzema who will once again play for his country after five years away.
The fact of the matter is that France are so good that even their second-best XI could realistically have a fair chance of winning this summer.
As the reigning UEFA Euro Cup champions, there’s no doubt that Portugal is in the running as one of the favourites to win in consecutive tournaments. This fact is made truer by the fact that the current squad is arguably stronger than the team that earned the victory in 2016.
Bruno Fernandes, Bernado Silva, Ruben Dias, and Diogo Jota were not part of the team that won the Euros half a decade ago but each one has been a leading Premier League performer over the past season.
That being said, the ageing star players like all-time Euros top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Pepe also bring a wealth of experience and finesse to the table to support the younger stars of team Portugal in the hopes of a repeat win this coming summer.
Likewise, the Italians have always had a far better performance in the World Cup as compared to the Euros. They’ve won the former four times thus far and the latter a mere one time back in 1968.
This fact is exacerbated by the fact that key defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are both at the tail end of their careers. The Azzurri also lack potent offence in the form of goalscorers which lends credence to their status as only the seventh-best team in a 24-team format tournament.
Here’s What Analysts Have To Say
On the other side of the spectrum, some have used mathematics, data, and science to predict the outcome of the finals. Of course, you should always take these results with a pinch of salt as football can be a very unpredictable game. After all, the ball is round.
A statistical model developed by an analyst team at Goldman Sachs has predicted that Belgium, the world’s rank number one team, will overcome the rest of the competition and score the country’s first-ever major football tournament victory — with Italy looking to come up just shy of the gold.
Meanwhile, another bookies’ favourite, England are tipped to beat former World Cup holders Germany 2 – 1 in the round of 16 before succumbing to the onslaught of Spain in the quarter-finals. World champs France is also predicted to not make it out of the group stage as they’ll be just behind Germany.
The model also predicts that Portugal will be one of the other semi-finalists, defeating Denmark in the quarter-finals to inch closer to title glory — ultimately crashing out as the finals will feature a masterclass of skill between Belgium and Italy.
The professional analysts at Goldman used a dataset of the number of goals scored by each team to model their statistical model. The team used the results of 6,000 games dating back to 1980 to ensure a large enough sample size for more accurate results.
They found that this parameter could measure the strength of the squad as measured by the World Football Elo rating which encompasses metrics like goals scored and conceded in recent games, as well as the home advantage (worth 0.4 goals per game) and the “tournament effect” which shows that some teams tend to perform better than their usual ratings in major competitions.
The Euros had been delayed for a year (the first time in its more than 60 year history) as the Covid-19 pandemic struck Europe hard. The first match kickoff will take place in Rome with Turkey facing Italy on 11 June 2021, with the finals concluding at London’s Wembley Stadium a month later on 11 July 2021.