Group D is extremely intriguing with the second-favourites for the tournament England playing their three games in London against their conquerors at the 2018 World Cup, Croatia, the Czech Republic and the renewal of the oldest rivalry in football when they face Scotland. The Croats may not be at the level they were in Russia but they still hold a major threat while the Czechs and the Scots will hope to cause a big upset especially against the English at Wembley.

England

Star Player: Harry Kane

Manager: Gareth Southgate

Best Euros Finish: Semi-Finals (1996)

What are their chances?

England have been the perennial underachievers in international football for the last 50 years but arrive at EURO 2020 with possibly their best chance to lift a trophy since 1966. Having finished fourth at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, their extremely likeable manager Gareth Southgate will be hoping to end England’s hoodoo at the European Championships where they have not gone beyond the quarter-finals since they hosted the tournament back in 1996.

In fact, England’s record in the Euros is genuinely abysmal apart from that summer that Terry Venables, Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne nearly brought football “home” when you consider the strength of the English domestic game. Since 1980, and leaving EURO 96 aside, the Three Lions exited at the group stage in 1988, 1992 and 2000 losing to the likes of the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Romania along the way. Since then it hasn’t been much better with two quarter-final penalty defeats in 2004 and 2012 along with the humiliating defeat to Iceland in the last 16 in 2016 and the failure to even qualify in 2008!

But this team feels different, England are producing the kind of players that can really mix it with the greatest teams in Europe and the attacking talent at their disposal is frightening. Captain Harry Kane is obviously the main man but with the likes of Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka alongside him this could actually be the year England go the distance and with the final at Wembley, they’ve the chance to do it in front of their home fans.

Bet9ja Outright EURO 2020 odds: 6.00

(Harry Kane in action against Austria: Getty Images)

Croatia

Star Player: Luka Modric

Manager: Zlatko Dalic

Best Euros Finish: Quarter-Finals (1996, 2008)

What are their chances?

Reaching the 2018 World Cup final has set the bar quite high for Croatia and whilst they did finish top of their qualifying group albeit with a lower points total than any other group winner it is difficult to see them hitting the glorious heights of three summers ago. A lot of the same players and staff from the World Cup are still around but things have not been smooth for Zlatko Dalic and his men with just two wins from their last nine games leading up to EURO 2020 with a poor 1-1 home draw against Armenia in a warm-up game.

Their talisman is of course Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, the midfielder has achieved just about everything in the game at club level having won a vast collection of trophies including four UEFA Champions Leagues. The most impressive of his accolades is arguably a personal achievement as he won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, given to the best footballer in the world showcasing how integral he was to Croatia’s success at the last FIFA World Cup. Modric is known for his wide range of passing as well as his eye for a long range goal, the ‘Galactico’ has the ability to win a game by himself even at the grand age of 35-years-old.

Bet9ja Outright EURO 2020 odds: 34.00

(Luka Modric takes free-kick against Armenia in friendly: Getty Images)

Czech Republic

Star Player: Tomas Soucek

Manager: Jaroslav Silhavy

Best Euros Finish: Semi-Finals (2004)

What are their chances?

The Czech Republic have struggled in recent years to make an impact on the European and world stage since their 2012 exit of the European Championships at the Quarter-Final stage. Their form in Euro 2020 qualifying was a mixed bag too, they won five games and lost three but did manage to inflict a 1-0 defeat on England showing they are capable of competing among the tournament favorites on their day.

Despite the team’s inconsistency, they do have individuals who are hitting form at the right time. West Ham duo Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek will be known by Premier League fans for their impressive performances that helped the Hammers reach UEFA Europa League qualification. Coufal has been solid in defence with his combative and no-nonsense approach while Soucek has added goals to his game scoring 10 this season, a threat from crosses and set-pieces Silhavy’s tactics may revolve around the West Ham midfielder’s aerial presence.  

Bet9ja Outright EURO 2020 odds: 126.00

(Tomas Soucek on international duty: Getty Images)

Scotland

Star Player: John Mcginn

Manager: Steve Clarke

Best Euros Finish: Group Stage (1996)

What are their chances?

Scotland haven’t played at major tournament since France 1998. They will be underdogs having only reached the finals thanks to beating Serbia on penalties in the play-offs. However, two of their three group games will be played in Glasgow at Hampden Park, with fans returning to stadiums home advantage could give them a big boost to get over the line and make the knock-out stages.

The current Scotland may still have it’s deficiencies but there is a plethora of talent in the squad that resides at top clubs in the Premier League. Andrew Robertson of Liverpool, Kieran Tierney of Arsenal and Scott McTominay of Manchester United all playing week in week out at their respected clubs. Scotland will be a side that are hard to beat, Steve Clarke making the most of their defensive talent and energy in the midfield. John McGinn will be the key man not just because of the legs he adds to the middle of the pitch but for the goal scoring touch he’s brought to his game, recently reaching 10 goals for his country after a rich vein of form.

Bet9ja Outright EURO 2020 odds: 151.00

(John McGinn celebrates scoring against Faroe Islands: Getty Images)

Fixtures

13th June 2021 – England v Croatia – Wembley Stadium, London – 14:00

14th June 2021 – Scotland v Czech Republic – Hampden Park, Glasgow – 14:00

18th June 2021 – Croatia v Czech Republic – Hampden Park, Glasgow – 17:00

18th June 2021 – England v Scotland – Wembley Stadium, London – 20:00

22nd June 2021 – Czech Republic v England – Wembley Stadium, London – 20:00

22nd June 2021 – Croatia v Scotland – Hampden Park, Glasgow – 20:00