Euro 2020 Preview: Group D (England ready to roar, but beware Croatia)

Euro 2020 Preview: Group D (England ready to roar, but beware Croatia)

Euro 2020

Euro 2020 Preview: Group D (England ready to roar, but beware Croatia)

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Three years ago, Croatia ended England’s World Cup hopes with a semifinal victory. Three years later, the Three Lions are positioned to exact some revenge.

England heads into Euro 2020 Group D action as the clear-cut favorite, boasting some exciting young talent to go with established veterans like Harry Kane. Croatia enters the Euros being overlooked, much like it was at the 2018 World Cup, but the veteran squad could find some difficult obstacles on the way to its expected place in the Round of 16.

The Czech Republic has an experienced squad looking to play spoiler, while Scotland makes its first European Championship appearance since 1996, with Scott McTominay and Andy Robertson leading the way.

Here is a closer look at all four teams in Group D:

GROUP D

Schedule (Times Eastern)

June 13: Group D: England vs Croatia (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+) 9 a.m.

June 14: Scotland vs. Czech Republic (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+) 9 a.m.

June 18: Croatia vs. Czech Republic (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+) Noon

June 18: England vs. Scotland (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+) 3 p.m.

June 23: Czech Republic vs. England (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+) 3 p.m.

June 23: Croatia vs. Scotland (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+) 3 p.m. 


ENGLAND


HEAD COACH

Gareth Southgate

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford

NAME TO LEARN

Plenty of people have already learned Mason Mount’s name because of his role in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League-winning season. Mount has a large responsibility if he lines up at attacking midfielder for England, pulling the strings near Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.

ROSTER

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham)

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

OUTLOOK

England’s squad is full of young players on the cusp of making their names known in a major tournament. The English finally found some World Cup success in 2018, making it to the semifinal. A semifinal rematch against Croatia awaits in the group stage. Strikers Phil Foden and Harry Kane are coming off excellent Premier League seasons and will look to be among the top players in the entire tournament.


CROATIA


HEAD COACH

Zlatko Dalic

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic, Sime Vrsaljko

NAME TO LEARN

Ante Rebic. The AC Milan striker scored 11 goals and assisted 7 in Serie A to help Milan reach the Champions League for the first time in 10 years. Though he’s a much different type of striker, Rebic can help fill the void left by Mario Mandzukic, who excelled in the 2018 World Cup.

ROSTER

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Simon Sluga (Luton)

Defenders: Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico de Madrid), Borna Barisic (Rangers), Duje Caleta-Car (Marseille), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Josip Juranovic (Legia Warszawa), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Josko Gvardiol (Leipzig), Domagoj Bradaric (LOSC Lille), Mile Skoric (Osijek)

Midfielders: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Genoa), Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moskva), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg), Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb), Luka Ivanusec (Dinamo Zagreb)

Forwards: Ante Rebic (AC Milan), Bruno Petkovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim)

OUTLOOK

Expectations will still be high for Croatia. Luka Modric is still playing at a high level at age 35, and the Croatians have several more key attacking players coming off impressive club seasons, namely Ante Rebic, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic.


CZECH REPUBLIC


HEAD COACH

Jaroslav Silhavy

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Patrik Schick, Thomas Soucek, Matej Vydra

NAME TO LEARN

Thomas Soucek. The central midfielder moved to West Ham last summer. In his first season in the Premier League, Soucek managed to score 10 goals and assist one.

ROSTER

Goalkeepers: Tomas Vaclik (Sevilla), Jiri Pavlenka (Werder Bremen), Ales Mandous (Olomouc)

Defenders: Vladimir Coufal (West Ham), Pavel Kaderabek (Hoffenheim), Ondrej Celustka (Sparta Praha), Tomas Kalas (Bristol City), David Zima (Slavia Praha), Jan Boril (Slavia Praha), Ales Mateju (Brescia), Jakub Brabec (Viktoria Plzen)

Midfielders: Lukas Masopust (Slavia Praha), Vladimir Darida (Hertha Berlin), Tomas Soucek (West Ham), Antonin Barak (Verona), Alex Kral (Spartak Moskva), Tomas Holes (Slavia Praha), Petr Sevcik (Slavia Praha), Jakub Jankto (Sampdoria), Adam Hlozek (Sparta Praha), Jakub Pesek (Liberec), Michal Sadilek (PSV)

Forwards: Patrik Schick (Leverkusen), Michael Krmencik (PAOK), Matej Vydra (Burnley), Tomas Pekhart (Legia)

OUTLOOK– It will take quite an effort for the Czechs to unseat England or Croatia. However, Czech Republic’s roster has many experienced players and a few at high levels in Europe. Czech Republic faltered against an impressive Italy side in a pre-tournament friendly, then earned an encouraging 3-1 win over Albania.


SCOTLAND


HEAD COACH

Steve Clarke

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kieran Tierney, Andy Robertson, Scott McTominay

NAME TO LEARN

Billy Gilmour. The 19-year-old Chelsea midfielder made five Premier League appearances and four FA Cup appearances this season. Scotland has a strong central midfield presence with Scott McTominay, but Gilmour might provide the creativity in attack that Scotland needs.

ROSTER

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Heart of Midlothian), David Marshall (Derby County), Jon McLaughlin (Rangers)

Defenders: Nathan Patterson (Rangers), Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest), Jack Hendry (KV Oostende)

Midfielders: Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), John McGinn (Aston Villa), John Fleck (Sheffield United), David Turnbull (Celtic)

Forwards: James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Christie (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Newcastle United), Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers), Che Adams (Southampton), Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian)

OUTLOOK

Scotland has not qualified for a European Championship since the 1996 tournament. Motivation will be high to get a result against England, but the other three teams in this group are much stronger.

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