2020 UEFA Euro Group A Betting
EURO 2020 will be the most international European Championships to date. We will see 12 different countries host matches, and all Group A games will be played in either Rome, Italy or Baku, Azerbaijan. Italy gets to host all three of its games in this group, making the Italians the favorites to win Group A. There isn’t a weak team in this group though.
UEFA Euro Group A Country Profiles
FIFA Ranking: 10
Best Finish: Champions (1968)
This is not the same Italy we have seen in the past. After the Azzurri failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, they decided to completely retool and change strategies. Italy was once known for its suffocating defense and ability to grind out 1-0 wins with Gianluigi Buffon in net, but the national team now runs a 4-3-3 and concentrates on the attack.
The Italians completely dismantled every team they faced in Euro 2020 qualifying. Italy went 10-0 with a goal ratio of 37 to 4, and they were one of two teams (along with Belgium) to win all 10 of their qualifying games.
Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne, and Andrea Belotti are likely to lead the way up top. Immobile netted 36 goals with Lazio during the 2019-20 campaign, so he will be the focal point of the attack. However, the Azzurri also have young talented players in Nicolo Zaniolo and Sandro Tonali that can be difference makers.
FIFA Ranking: 16
Best Finish: Round of 16 (2016)
The fourth time was the charm for Switzerland at the last Euros. The Swiss did not qualify for a European Championship until 1996, and they didn’t get their first win in the competition until they hosted the event with Austria in 2008. Switzerland finally made it out of the Group Stage in the last iteration with a win and two draws in the group stage, and the Swiss battled Poland to a regulation tie before losing in penalties in the Round of 16.
Switzerland is seen as the biggest threat to Italy in this group. They will have Xherdan Shaqiri back after he didn’t play a single game during qualifying, and Granit Xhaka is the skipper. Both players are in their late 20s and still in their prime, but there isn’t a lot of talent elsewhere. Haris Seferovic will be asked to do a lot up top, while Yann Sommer will be in net.
FIFA Ranking: 18
Best Finish: Semifinals (2016)
The Dragons shocked the world in their European Championship debut in 2016. Wales defeated Slovakia and Russia to win Group B, and they beat Northern Ireland in the Round of 16 before stunning heavily favored Belgium in the quarterfinals. They eventually lost to Portugal in the semifinals, but their surprising success was one of the stories of the tournament.
Wales are led by captain Gareth Bale. Bale is at his best when playing for the national team, and he has netted 33 goals for the Welsh in his international career. Aaron Ramsey is the other big name playing for Wales, but there are young, talented midfields in Ethan Ampadu and Daniel James.
FIFA Ranking: 32
Best Finish: Semifinals (2008)
Turkey made it to the semifinals of the 2008 Euros, but they haven’t made it to the knockout stage in a major international tournament since that point. However, they beat out darlings Iceland to qualify right behind France in Group H thanks to new manager Senol Gunes.
Most of the national team plays its club soccer in Turkey. Forward Cenk Tosun will be someone to watch at this competition along with captain Burak Yilmaz of Lille. Turkey will need midfielders Cengiz Under and Hakan Calhanoglu to work some magic in order to make it to the knockout rounds.
Group A Schedule
Friday June 11
Italy vs. Turkey (Rome; 3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m.)
Saturday June 12
Wales vs. Switzerland (Baku; 9 a.m. ET, 3 p.m.)
Wednesday June 16
Turkey vs. Wales (Baku; noon ET, 6 p.m.)
Italy vs. Switzerland (Rome; 3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m.)
Sunday June 20
Italy vs. Wales (Rome; noon ET, 6 p.m.)
Switzerland vs. Turkey (Baku; 3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m.)
*Top two in each group plus four best third-placed teams advance
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