Joe Bernstein's country-by-country guide to Euro 2020

Joe Bernstein’s country-by-country guide to Euro 2020: From Italy to Portugal – assessing each nation’s chances and their key performers

  • Euro 2020 will finally get underway when Turkey face Italy on Friday night 
  • Sportsmail’s Joe Bernstein assesses the 24 nations at this summer’s tournament 
  • There will be an array of stars to look out for, from Kylian Mbappe to Harry Kane  
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.

After being delayed by a year, Euro 2020 will finally get underway on Friday when Turkey take on Italy.

With the tournament having been expanded to 24 teams, there will be plenty of nations and players to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Here, Sportsmail’s Joe Bernstein outlines what each country has to offer at this summer’s tournament. 

Sportsmail’s Joe Bernstein provides a country-by-country guide ahead of Euro 2020

GROUP A 

ITALY

Manager: Roberto Mancini

FIFA ranking: 7

Star man: Marco Verratti (PSG) Complete midfielder, hoping a recent knee injury does not have an impact.

Look out for: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) Scored 20 goals in Serie A last season.

UK connections: Chelsea’s Jorginho is the only inclusion, buoyed by last weekend’s Champions League win. Mancini led Manchester City to their first PL title.

Did you know? Qualified with a 100 per cent record, conceding only four goals in their 10 group games.

Euro best: Won 1968.

Winning odds: 11-1.

Complete midfielder Marco Verratti is of much importance to Italy’s hopes at the tournament

SWITZERLAND 

Manager: Vladimir Petkovic

FIFA ranking: 13

Star man: Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool) Enigmatic winger who scores spectacular goals in big tournaments.Look out for Denis Zakaria (Monchengladbach) Has been likened to Patrick Vieira for his mobility and tackling.

UK connections: Besides Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka is at Arsenal, for now, and Fabian Schar at Newcastle.

Did you know? Coach Petkovic won the 2013 Coppa Italia as Lazio boss.

Euro best: Last-16 2016.

Winning odds: 66-1.

Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri has a reputation for finding the net in big tournaments

TURKEY

Manager: Senol Gunes

FIFA ranking: 29

Star man: Hakan Calhanoglu (AC Milan) Playmaker has been integral to Milan’s revival and is a hot property.

Look out for: Burak Yilmaz (Lille) At 35, enjoying a remarkable twilight with 22 goals for French champions.

UK connections: Caglar Soyuncu is at Leicester but team-mate Cengiz Under had less impact on loan from Roma. Ozan Kabak will not be re-signed by Liverpool.

Did you know? Legendary striker Hakan Sukur is an exile in the USA because of his opposition to the country’s president Recep Erdogan.

Euro best: Semis 2008.

Winning odds: 50-1.

Hakan Calhanoglu of AC Milan will be key to Turkey’s hopes of making an impact this summer

WALES

Manager: Robert Page

FIFA ranking: 17

Star man: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) Came to life in final weeks of Spurs loan spell.

Look out for: Harry Wilson (Liverpool) Interest from clubs after Cardiff loan spell.

UK connections: Only Aaron Ramsey of Juventus wasn’t in the PL or EFL last season.

Did you know? Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has played six games for Wales in the past year but only two for his club Crystal Palace in that time.

Euro best: Semis 2016.

Winning odds: 150-1.

If Gareth Bale is at his best then he could be extremely useful for Wales at Euro 2020

GROUP B 

BELGIUM

Manager: Roberto Martinez

Fifa ranking: 1

Star man: Romelu Lukaku (below, Inter Milan) Kevin De Bruyne’s fractured nose and eye socket leaves even more responsibility on the Serie A title-winning striker.

Look out for: Youri Tielemans (Leicester) A revelation in England, capping the season with a wonder-goal in the FA Cup final.

UK connection: Nine players in squad are ‘Anglos’.

Did you know? Nine starters beaten 3-1 by Wales at Euro 2016 are in squad.

Euros best Finalists: 1980.

Winning odds: 6-1.

After an impressive season with Inter Milan, Romelu Lukaku is hoping to help Belgium succeed

DENMARK 

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand

Fifa ranking: 10

Star man: Christian Eriksen (Inter Milan) Major creative factor in Inter’s title win.

Look out for: Joachim Andersen (Lyon) Great shop window for defender after an impressive Fulham loan spell.

UK connections: Five PL players and Jensen and Norgaard helped Brentford win promotion.

Did you know? At 34, Kasper Schmeichel is six years older than his father Peter was when he won the Euros in 1992.

Euro best: Won 1992.

Odds: 28-1.

Vastly experienced on the international stage, Christian Eriksen is Denmark’s star man

FINLAND

Manager: Markku Kanerva

Fifa ranking: 54

Star man: Teemu Pukki (Norwich) Scored 31 times last season, five of those goals coming for his country.

Look out for: Lukas Hradecky (Bayer Leverkusen) Being the Finnish goalkeeper against Romelu Lukaku and company should keep him occupied.

UK connections: Jaakkola, Hamalainen and Halme are in the EFL and Pukki is back in the PL next season.

Did you know? Pukki scored 10 of Finland’s 16 goals in qualifying.

Euro best: Debut.

Winning odds: 400-1.

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki will be looking to help Finland to get out of their group

RUSSIA

Manager: Stanislav Cherchesov

Fifa ranking: 38

Star man: Aleksandr Golovin (Monaco) A rare Russian football export: a Siberian in the French Riviera.

Look out for: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit) Bad boy striker was brilliant at the last World Cup but later dropped when a video of him naked was posted online.

UK connections: Veteran Yuri Zhirkov, now of Zenit, spent two years at Chelsea.

Did you know? Winger Denis Cheryshev grew up in Spain.

Euro best: Won 1960 (as Soviet Union).

Odds: 66-1.

Monaco’s Aleksandr Golovin will look to be a major creative force for Russia at the tournament

GROUP C 

AUSTRIA

Manager: Franco Foda

Fifa ranking: 23

Star man: David Alaba (Real Madrid) Defender signed for Real from Bayern Munich last week, having won 21 trophies including the Champions League twice.

Look out for: Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai Port) You never know what you’re going to get with maverick former West Ham forward now playing in China.

UK connections: Goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann helped Watford win promotion.

Did you know? Sabitzer helped Leipzig knock Spurs and Man United out of the Champions League.

Euro best: Group 2008 & 2016.

Winning odds: 90-1.

David Alaba, who recently joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich, is Austria’s key player

HOLLAND

Manager: Frank de Boer

Fifa ranking: 16

Star man: Memphis Depay (Lyon) More accomplished forward now than when he flopped at Manchester United.

Look out for: Donny van de Beek (Man Utd) Rarely spotted at Old Trafford

UK connections: Van Aanholt, Wijnaldum, Ake and Van de Beek.

Did you know? Van Aanholt played in Frank de Boer’s only win as Crystal Palace manager – 2-1 against Ipswich in the League Cup.

Euro best: Won 1988.

Winning odds: 12-1.

Holland’s Memphis Depay has progressed significantly since his time at Manchester United

NORTH MACEDONIA

Manager: Igor Angelovski

Fifa ranking: 62

Star man: Goran Pandev (Genoa) Turning 38 next month, he is the last member of Inter Milan’s 2010 Champions League winners still playing.

Look out for: Ezgijan Alioski (Leeds) Hard to miss with his bleach-blond hair and occasionally daft antics. Out of contract at Elland Road.

UK connections: Alioski played in all but two of Leeds’ league games last season.

Did you know? The national stadium in Skopje is named after pop star Tose Proeski who died in a car crash in 2007 aged 26.

Euro best: Debut.

Winning odds: 500-1.

37-year-old Genoa attacker Goran Pandev is the all-time top goalscorer for North Macedonia

UKRAINE

Manager: Andriy Shevchenko

Fifa ranking: 24

Star man: Oleksandr Zinchenko (Man City) Plays a supporting role for his club but is the key midfielder and captain for his country.

Look out for: Mykola Shaparenko (Dinamo Kyiv) A talented technician, he helped Kyiv reach the Europa League knockout stages.

UK connections: Zinchenko and West Ham’s Yarmolenko

Did you know? 17 of the 26-man squad play for Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Euro best: Group 2012 & 2016

Winning odds: 80-1.

Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko is very important for Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine

GROUP D 

ENGLAND

Manager: Gareth Southgate

Fifa ranking: 4

Star man: Harry Kane (Tottenham) World Cup Golden Boot winner who will break the British transfer record if he moves clubs this summer.

Look out for: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) Winger who had a great season and is on Man United’s radar.

UK connections: All bar Trippier (Atletico Madrid), and Dortmund pair Sancho and Bellingham, are home based.

Did you know? Four of the squad were in Southgate’s first game, against Malta in 2016 — Kyle Walker, John Stones, Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford.

Euro best: Semis 1968 & 1996

Winning odds: 5-1

Harry Kane won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup and is looking for his first trophy

CROATIA

Manager: Zlatko Dalic

Fifa ranking: 14

Star man: Luka Modric (Real Madrid) The only Ballon d’Or winner at the Euros bar Cristiano Ronaldo. Still pulling the strings at 35.

Look out for: Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb) His hat-trick dumped Spurs out of the Europa League.

UK connections: Kovacic won the Champions League at Chelsea and Sluga played 39 Championship games for Luton. Barisic is at Rangers.

Did you know? Croatia trailed England for 63 minutes in their 2018 World Cup semi-final and led for only the last 11 minutes.

Euro best: Quarters 1996 & 2008.

Winning odds: 33-1.

35-year-old midfielder Luka Modric will be looking to help Croatia make progress at Euro 2020

CZECH REPUBLIC

Manager: Jaroslav Silhavy

Fifa ranking: 40

Star man: Tomas Soucek (West Ham) £13.5m midfielder has been one of the best recent value-for-money signings

Look out for: Adam Hlozek (Sparta Prague) 18-year-old who has scored at a goal a game in the Czech League and is being scouted by several clubs, including West Ham.

UK connections: Apart from Hammers pair Soucek and Coufal, Vydra scored goals last season for Burnley and Bristol City’s Kalas has been in England for a decade.

Did you know? They were favourites to win Euro 2004 but lost 1-0 to Greece in the semis.

Euro best: Finalists 1996 (Czechoslovakia won in 1976).

Winning odds: 150-1.

Tomas Soucek adapted well to the Premier League and will now look to impress at the Euros

SCOTLAND

Manager: Steve Clarke

Fifa ranking: 44

Star man: Andy Robertson (Liverpool) Won Premier League and Champions League to continue the tradition of great Scots at Anfield.

Look out for: John McGinn (Aston Villa) Plays further forward for his country than for his club and has shown an eye for goal.

UK connections: Squad is split between 10 PL players, 4 from the EFL and 12 in Scotland

Did you know? Craig Gordon made his debut in 2004 when team-mates Billy Gilmour and Nathan Patterson were only two years old.

Euro best: Group 1992 & 1996.

Winning odds: 200-1.

Dependable left-back Andy Robertson will relish playing for Scotland in a major tournament

GROUP E 

POLAND

Manager: Paulo Sousa

Fifa ranking: 21

Star man: Robert Lewandowski (below, Bayern Munich) Eclipsed Gerd Muller’s record for most Bundesliga goals in a season.

Look out for: Jakub Moder (Brighton) Became the most expensive Polish player in history when he joined Brighton for £9.5m.

UK connections: Fabianski, Bednarek, Helik, Jozwiak, Klich, Moder and Placheta were in top two divisions.

Did you know? Kamil Grosicki hit four goals for Poland but none for West Brom.

Euro best: Quarters 2016. Odds 80-1.

The prolific Robert Lewandowski will pose a threat against any opponent that he faces

SPAIN 

Manager: Luis Enrique

Fifa ranking: 6

Star man: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) With no Real Madrid players, responsibility falls on the last survivor from 2010 World Cup winners.

Look out for: Aymeric Laporte (Man City) Born in France, who snubbed him, he now has Spanish citizenship.

UK connections: De Gea, Sanchez, Azpilicueta, Llorente, Laporte, Thiago, Torres and Traore.

Did you know? Enrique was in Spain’s 1996 squad.

Euro best: Won 1964, 2008 & 2012. Winning odds 15-2.

The experienced Sergio Busquets is the last survivor from Spain’s 2010 World Cup squad

SLOVAKIA

Manager: Stefan Tarkovic

Fifa ranking: 36

Star man: Marek Hamsik (Gothenburg) Record caps for country and wins against Italy, Russia and Spain

Look out for: Vladimir Weiss (Slovan Bratislava) Didn’t work out for him at Man City but now 31, the winger has won a Double at Bratislava.

UK connections: Martin Dubravka and Marek Rodak were in goal against each other on final day of season.

Did you know? Dr Jozef Venglos, assistant with 1976 Euro-winning side, was Slovakian.

Euro best: Last-16 2016. Odds 200-1.

Marek Hamsik, who holds Slovakia’s all-time caps record with 126, is still a reliable performer

SWEDEN

Manager: Janne Andersson

Fifa ranking: 18

Star man: Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad) No Zlatan Ibrahimovic (injured) so hopes rest on Isak, 21.

Look out for: Sebastian Larsson (AIK Solna) Spent most of career in England.

UK connections: Lindelof is the best-known of six based here.

Did you know: Andersson celebrated qua;lification for 2018 World Cup by cleaning dressing room after game.

Euro best: Semis 1992.

Winning odds: 90-1.

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic out, the onus will be on Alexander Isak to impress for Sweden 

GROUP F

FRANCE

Manager: Didier Deschamps

Fifa ranking: 2

Star man: Kylian Mbappe (PSG) Long seen as the natural heir to Messi and Ronaldo, he thrilled with his performances in Russia three years ago.

Look out for: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) Recalled after a five-year absence. Fifth in Real’s all-time goalscoring list and in top 10 for appearances.

UK connections: Lloris is at Spurs and is joined by fellow ‘Anglos’ Digne, Zouma, Kante, Pogba, Sissoko and Giroud.

Did you know? Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is the first player to win the Premier League, Champions League and World Cup while at same club.

Euro best: Won 1984 & 2000.

Winning odds: 5-1.

After helping France to win the World Cup in 2018, Kylian Mbappe is now targeting Euros glory

GERMANY

Manager: Joachim Low

Fifa ranking: 12

Star man: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) In squad with Mats Hummels two years after Low considered them too old. Germany lost 6-0 to Spain without them.

Look out for: Kai Havertz (Chelsea) Confidence will be high after scoring winning goal in the Champions League final.

UK connections: Strong Chelsea contingent in Rudiger, Havertz and Werner. They are joined by Leno, Koch and Gundogan.

Euro best: Won 1972, 1980 & 1996 (first 2 as West Germany).

Winning odds: 7-1.

Thomas Muller was previously considered too old but has worked his way back into the squad

HUNGARY

Manager: Marco Rossi

Fifa ranking: 37

Star man: Willi Orban (Leipzig) Captain and defensive rock in impressive Leipzig side. German-born, opted to play for his father’s country despite being capped by Germany Under 21s.

Look out for: Peter Gulacsi (Leipzig) Could be the busiest man at Euros. Started his goalkeeping career at Anfield but spent more time on loan at Hereford, Tranmere and Hull.

UK connections: Midfielder Adam Nagy played 35 times for Bristol City last season.

Did you know? Gulacsi’s last game in England was for Hull against Burnley in 2011. Among his opponents was Kieran Trippier.

Euro best: Semis 1964.

Winning odds: 500-1.

Defensive rock Willi Orban was capped by Germany Under-21s but chose to play for Hungary

PORTUGAL 

Manager: Fernando Santos

Fifa ranking: 5

Star man: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) You can’t look past him, even at 36. Closing in on Ali Daei’s record as the leading international goalscorer (109).

Look out for: Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd) Loves the big stage and will want to impress.

UK connections: Manchester City’s Bernardo, Dias and Cancelo, Liverpool’s Jota, the Wolves quartet of Patricio, Semedo, Neves and Moutinho plus Fernandes.

Did you know? Ronaldo’s first Portugal goal was in Euro 2004, assisted by Luis Figo.

Euro best: Won 2016.

Winning odds: 8-1.

Even at the age of 36, Cristiano Ronaldo is still going strong and will be a key force for Portugal




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