Euro 2021:The *Experts’ View Part II
By Andrew Broadley, Justin Wong, James Tapp *not experts
Last issue we gave you the rundown of the first three groups. This issue, it’s time for the last three. Without further ado, here are our completely amateurish and unofficial predictions for groups D, E and F.
Justin: The Three Lions have many talented players (Jadon Sancho!) to choose from. They will breeze past the group stage, but do what the English do best and crash out on penalties. Again. Andy: The best the English manage at international level is a catchy slogan IT'S COMING HOOOME and an article from the Mirror about some lad who will no doubt get ‘Euro 2020 champions’ prematurely tattooed on his leg after watching England comfortably beat the Czech Republic. James: Every year is their year until it isn’t. I want to believe they’ll do well, but part of me knows that we wouldn’t hear the end of it if they won. Let’s hope for the best but also the worst.
Andy: Runners up at the last World Cup but I’ve never been convinced. Quarter-finals? Justin: Unlike my sceptical colleague, I have faith in the midfield line of Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić and Marcelo Brozović. Semi-finals. James: They’ve reached European famedom in recent years and I think they’re here to stay. Semi’s are likely.
Justin: The Scots won’t give a shit where they finish as long as they beat England at Wembley. James: Considering they want to join the European Union, they deserve to go further than England. Unfortunately the talent isn’t there to back up the passion. Andy: This Scottish team is a top tier second tier side. They would rip apart the Championship and then yo-yo away on the fringes of the Prem like a good Norwich City. Unfortunately this isn’t the Championship and they have to play Croatia, not Luton Town...
Justin: Might edge to the knockout rounds in third place, but still very much the outsiders. West Ham’s defensive midfielder Tomáš Souček is the player to watch. James: No Petr Čech, no bueno. Who are they without him? I agree with Justin: they could squeeze through, but it won’t be easy from there. Andy: They’ll politely czech themselves out; you probably won’t even know they were here.
Andy: Tika-taka is dead and so is the great Spanish domination of the 2010s. Last time out they failed, desperately trying to cling onto past glory. A rebranding has since taken place. The old greats have moved on, and they look stronger for it, but not champions. James: I have confidence that Spain will win another Euro before the end of the decade. Just not this one. Justin: Don’t expect Spain to play like their golden generation. There is a new F. (Ferran) Torres in town though...
James: No one can replace Zlatan. He’s the one man band and he knows it. The Swedes have a way of causing upsets though... Andy: The loss of starman and all time greatest living Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović to injury means EUROn’t be watching them for long. Justin: No Zlatan, no party.
James: Lewandowski has the opportunity to show why he’s one of the best in the world. I’m expecting some good things from them, just not a trophy in their hands. Andy: A likely match up with the Group F (and pool of death) winner means they’ll probably exit earlier than they deserve. Justin: Relatively easy group for the Poles but could struggle in the knockout stages. Can world-class striker Robert Lewandowski get the same support he receives at Bayern Munich?
Andy: Slovakia more like SLOWvakia... Look I dunno, they aren’t good, they won’t go far, their name isn’t even good for jokes... bad all round. James: I don’t know how to feel about them. Not that I’m divided, I just genuinely have no clue who’s in the team. Justin: At least they’ll get a nice tour of Saint Petersburg and Seville before going home.
Andy: If you are hungry for Hungary... well... you’re going to have to stay hungry?.. (amateur level pun, too obvious, disappointing content, Andy). Would have a hard time in any pool, let alone this one. Justin: I love to be positive for every country but in a group with three footballing superpowers? I can’t see a way for survival. James: They’re only showing up for the signatures. If they get anything more than a draw I’ll probably celebrate for them.
Justin: It’s an entirely different team to when Portugal became European champions five years ago in Paris (sob). Since then they have only gotten better. Semifinals look certain. James: If they’re not in the finals, I would consider it an upset. It seems like every week a new Portuguese superstar has entered the footballing world. Andy: In 2006 Luís Figo was my boy. I had this dope Portugal football shirt that I loved and I wish I had that shirt now because Portugal is staaaaaacked. Man, Group F is gonna be good.
Andy: The 2018 World Cup winners and the Euro 2021 winners in waiting. James: Finalists as well, but the Portuguese are just that little bit better. The French are a tad too arrogant. Justin: The French talent pool has so much depth that they could name two entirely different sides and still strike fear into other teams. My pick to win the tournament. Allez les bleus!!!!!
Andy: You can never rule them out. If nothing else they will show up on time, and leave on time when the moment comes. #efficiency Justin: I think Die Mannschaft will either be out at the group stage or qualify as third place – not that they’re bad, the others are just too good. James: They’re like Spain. They had their golden time, now it’s gone. Third place if they’re luck