Euro 2020 Group D preview – the battle of the home nations

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With Euro 2020 kicking off on Friday, there are plenty of exciting match-ups. Not only have we got nations making their debut at a European Championships, we have the Group of Death, Group F, consisting of current World Champions, France; reigning European Champions, Portugal; Germany and Hungary. But we also have the thrilling prospect of two home nations in one group – with England and Scotland battling out at Wembley Stadium. Group F is completed by Croatia and the Czech Republic. 

Looking at the latest 2021 Euro betting odds, England are the favourites to not only top the group, but are also the outright joint-favourites (with France) to win the final at Wembley. Could it be that finally football’s coming home

Let’s take a look at Group D in more detail.

Croatia

Zlatko Dalić took to the helm in 2017 and immediately guided Croatia to a World Cup final – which they lost to France. They topped their qualifying group for the Euros, but have since encountered a transitional period.

With many of their experienced players retiring from the game, they have suffered a dip in form – winning just four of their last 13 international fixtures in all competitions, including friendlies. However, captain and talisman Luka Modric remains in their ranks.

H2H record –

vs England: W3, D2, L5 

vs Scotland: W0, D3, L2 

vs Czech Republic: W1, D2, L0

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic have reached their seventh successive European Championships as an independent nation, but at the last tournament, failed to win a single game. They qualified for Euro 2020 as group runners-up to England – having lost the first fixture, 5-0, the Czechs stunned the Three Lions 2-1 in Prague.

With West Ham United midfielder, Tomáš Souček, in their ranks, they may lack some of the quality they possessed in the past, but this Czech side is one that’s vastly improving, and could well prove to be one the dark horses.

H2H record –

vs England: W3, D4, L11
vs Croatia: W0, D2, L1
vs Scotland: W4, D1, L4 

England

Much will be made of England’s last performance at the Euros, in which they were dumped out at the round of 16 stage. But under Gareth Southgate, the Three Lions have looked promising – reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, held in Russia.

They were knocked out at that tournament by Croatia, who they face in Group D. Similarly, England only lost one of their qualifiers for Euro 2020 – the victors on that day were the Czech Republic, who will also come up against England once more.

With three of the fixtures being held at Wembley Stadium, as well as matches in the latter stages of the tournament, even with a reduced crowd and 11 host cities, there will be a slight home advantage. Although one bad performance, and the Three Lions faithful – and the media – are quick to jump on the team’s back.

H2H record –

vs Croatia: W5, D2, L3 

vs Scotland: W48, D24, L41 

vs Czech Republic: W11, D4, L3

Scotland

Scotland have qualified for a first major tournament since the France World Cup in 1998, and it’s their first appearance at a European Championships since 1996. Steve Clarke’s side qualified via the play-offs, in which they beat Israel and Serbia – both on penalties.

In fact, at their last Euros tournament, Scotland faced England – and didn’t make it past the group stage. The home nation is the second of the group’s hosts with matches being played at Hampden Park in Glasgow. Two of Scotland’s fixtures will be held there, while they will travel across the border to face old-time rivals England at Wembley.

H2H record –

vs England: W41, D24, L48
vs Croatia: W2, D3, L0
vs Czech Republic: W4, D1, L4 

Supercomputer predictions

A supercomputer study, conducted by bookmakers Paddy Power has predicted the outcome of Group D. It may come as a shock – and against the odds – that Croatia will go through as group winners, with a 100% record. A narrow defeat for England in their final game against Croatia sees them progress as runners-up. While, underdogs Scotland may have finished third in the group but make it through to the knockout stages – courtesy of their ranking as third-placed team.

TEAM P W D L GF GA GD PTS
Croatia 3 3 0 0 6 2 4 9
England 3 2 0 1 4 3 1 6
Scotland 3 1 0 2 6 6 0 3
Czech Republic 3 0 0 3 2 7 -5 0