On The Ball
On The Ball

Episode · 1 year ago

Euro 2020(2021) Group B Preview | Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Russia


I run through an in-depth Euro 2020 Group B Preview analysing the form and key players of each side, as well as predicting the 6 results from the group games. 


Welcome back to the on the ball podcast. This might be a new episode or might be continuing on from the Group A preview up. Still not sure that to do an episode per group or an episode per two groups, but we'll see how long this one takes and that will probably dictate what we end up choosing. But looking at the group be here for the Euro S, we are looking at obviously the favorite, one of the favorites for the tournament, obviously the favorite for this group, and it's going to be the red devils in Belgium. They've acquired, if that's the right word to use, twenty five points in their last ten games, which is quite simply incredible. That is equal second out of all the contestants in this year's competition. So they are one of the most informed teams and they've also had arguably one that arguably statistically, one of the toughest runnings. I think their third or fourth in the strength of schedule difficulty. So they've had a really, really good lead into their tournament. In the last two years they've scored thirty four goals in ten games. So that's really, really, really impressive, something we've always been bit dumb found and by this team is how they haven't been able to, you know, rack up four or five goals a game with the attacking talent that they have at their disposal. So that's good to see them starting to get some rhythm together. And goal against. They've conceded nine goals against, so also pretty pretty handy. So this is a big tournament for Belgium and General Rule they've look at only be pessimistic and they've got some good young players, Uruti Lemans, they've also got Wesley for fin or at Lester. Obviously a lot of great players, and I'm not mentioning but in terms of the Gen genuine stars, the genuine guns that they have, we're talking to Brauner, we're talking old led, we're talking has our bits al. This is probably their last chance as a group to really win a major title.

I think the World Cup and two more than next year, I guess. So I guess that's not too far out of reach. But I think it's a big ass for a lot of players at their age. I think most of their squads over the age of thirty, one of the oldest squads in the competition. It's a big ass for them to produce some of their best football when they're thirty two, thirty three, thirty four. So right now most of them are still in their prime but coming into the back end of it. So it's going to be a really, really big tournament for them. I think this is their best chance that they've had yet. I think other years their squad might have been better on paper and the opposition might have been weaker, but I think now they've played together for, you know, eight or nine years, is as a court group, so by now they should be as good as a club side. So I'm expecting really, really big things from this Belgium group. They came third at the two thousand and Eighteen World Cup. They made the quarterfinals of two thousand and sixteen euros and two thousand and fourteen World Cup, and that's sort of since this golden generation came through. Looking at their key players, this the star man's got to be Kevin de Bruner, one of the best players in the world, right up there for key passes, third amongst our Europe's Big Five Leagues. Also, believe it or not, why? I guess he assists a lot of goals or not that confusing, but he's in the top twelve in Europe for expected goals plus ex best expected assists minus penalties. So he's got his hands all over a lot of men cities goals and most of the people above them are out now strikers or wingers, so it's impressive that he does that from midfield. He is third in terms of big five leagues for shot creating actions. He's right up there for passes into the opposition box and he's also right up there for dribbling into the final third. So he does it all, passing, shooting, not necessarily defensively, but that's not his job. Dribbling, he is just an absolute gun and if he has his best international tournament today, that could go a long way into seeing Belgiumate lift their first... trophy, and he's going to be a key to it. HAS ADDS obviously not in as great form as he has been at previous tournaments. Look at is in really good form. He's also going to be very vital for them. But I think to Brian it going forward in attack is going to be their main weapon. Another one of their guns is courtoire. Now are not a lot is talked about goalkeepers, but I think international tournaments is where a lot of goalkeepers back in name for himself just coming to my head. I know a lot of these are in penalty shootouts, but I know Jordan Pickford kind of developed a little bit of Legend Stat it's really for his performances in the two thousand and Eighteen World Cup. And then thinking about Mexico's keeper Gumo Oh Showa, he like I'll be on Sidner and even really know what he does at club football, but when he puts on that Mexican Jersey becomes, I with the best goalkeeper in the world. Watched the USA Mexico highlights of their nation's league final the other day and he was on absolute fire, like he has been at so many international tournaments in the last ten years. So go check that out if you haven't. But courtoire real madrud keeper, obviously a big name, big player in general, is a big man, but he's going to have to have a really good tournament for them. He saw in the two thousand and Eighteen World Cup he got lowery had a really good tournament bought France, and keepers genuinely do play a big role in their team success. So called Tire's got to have a big tournament here. He's had a really good season for our Madrud and another guy like to mention is Jeremy Docu. Now he's not going to be starting, eighteen year old from Ren rent have produced a lot of exciting talent in the last three or four years. He's likely going to be on the bench and I think he should come off the bench because he could have a real big impact on how this team goes in the last twenty minutes of games. He is in the top twenty in Europe's Big Five Leagues for successful dribbles per ninety. He's also in the Big Five top league top twelve in progressive dribbles per nine. So really...

...good with bullet feet and can imagine with some tiring bodies, I can imagine his youthful and few the easy asm coming onto the field, maybe replacing some of the older boys like has ore and stuff like that, and just cutting apart defenses, especially in the early stage of the tournaments. But I can't see why I can't do it the whole way through. So Sheremon Docu is one who could have a little bit of a breakout tournament off the bench for Belgium, and I hope he gets that chance because he looks to be a really exciting talent for them coming through. But yeah, they've just got so many really good players. Their teams absolutely stacked. crasscoes probably not even want to get there. And he's been a revelation for a letter coming true this year. You at elements. He's going to be at the base of midfield. Had A really good year for Leicester City. Dreas merchants probably going to be there. He's at another good year at his club and the Cacras de Bryan, as I mentioned, they've all had really good years, all respectively making their own league's team of the season. So Belgium huge chance of winning this thing. Will talk about it later in my knockout predictions preview. And moving on to the other Group B sides, first of all looking at better Denmark. They're actually really highly ranked in the feofle world rankings, like I can't remember what it is, but when I was doing my research they were really, really high. They're picked up twenty points from their last ten games, so pretty, pretty solid. They've had also the easiest of drawers. They've scored twenty three goals. Pretty solid and only conceded eight. So no one's really talking about Denmark as they probably have been in the past tournaments. As you know, the Star played, Christian Ericson's probably past his prime and some of their other names, like Martin Rothway and stuff or past it. But they're still going to be a very, very good team and they made the round of sixteen and the twenty eighteen World Cup. Didn't qualify for the two thousand and sixteen years old two thousand fourteen World Cups, so don't quite have the big tournament pedigree. They're like others, but they're really, really good team. Some of the look, I'll be honest, their players aren't... the greatest of form, a bit similar to whales, like I mentioned in Group A. But as a team I think they are a lot better. I remember watching some of their nation's League's highlights and they had some really good performances. Some names to mention in terms of statistics. I don't know if either of these two are either going to start, but waking him Anderson, I'm probably saying that real wildly, but it's probably like Schwa Kid. Actually don't know how a Danish person would say waking waking I don't know, but the center back from Fulham. He was in the top fifteen for clearances and yeah, he was just a really dominant force that played some great long balls. Every time I watched for me was really always one of their best players. And they've also got corn nearly as don't know much about this bloke, but I know he's an absolute aerial threat, so watch out for him coming on and playing a bit like art and Zooba does from Russia, just being an aerial presence. That we're going to see a few of these tall strikers is tournament. I think veg horse is going to start for the Netherlands. We've got zoober from Russia and this guy could also have an impact for Denmark. So Watch out for those two guys. Maybe not start in the first game, but they might have an impact later on in the tournament. So Denmark the second favorite to win this group and that's probably why. And now these two teams that on the greatest of form but definitely not worth sleeping on. Finland's they have picked up seventeen points in their last twenty ten appearances. Had A pretty easy fixture. It's got to be honest. It's got to be said, only scored fourteen goals, and that's definitely where the warriors come for this team. They've played a lot easier teams and they're going to be playing in the tournament and they've been struggling to score goals. They don't have that much creative talent moving forward. Defensively they're pretty rock solid, a bit like Iceland that we saw at the two thousand and sixteen euros, who obviously had that infamous run into, I think the quarterfinals it was beating England. But yeah, team Operoky, I'll be honest. He's really the only player of note I know. Lucas for Adett ski is their goalkeeper, being...

...a legend of Labor Cusen for a long time. Not Don't think you're still there. Reckon, he might have gone to Frankfurt or something, but I could be wrong, I could be getting them mixed up. I could begin the clubs completely wrong, but no, he was a good winners league a keeper for a while and team o Pouki had another good year for no wich and the championship. So he should be coming in red hot form and he's about the only player I know to be on as I know they have Kamara are the centermid from rangers. He had obviously a good year. In that range is title winning season of dominance with Steven Gerrard. This is there. I don't know when was the last time they made a European championship or if they ever have. I'm sure they have because they've had some good players like Yari Littman and but they've made the last four big year European or world tournaments and they're really a surprise package. No one knows what we're going to get from Finland. And then looking at rush up the fourth team and group be seventeen points out of their last ten. So on part with Finland. But they've actually had an easier schedule, believe it or not. They've scored twenty goals, so goal scoring is not as much as an issue for them. But defensively they're very, very leaky, conceding sixteen, which is right up there with the worst of the tournament, so that's a little bit concerning. They did make the quarter finals of the two thousand and Eighteen World Cup, but that was in Russia, which I think definitely needs to be taken into account. Before that, their last three big international tournaments took place more ended in the group stage. So Yeah, look, they have too many key players of note. The more just a very compact, solid unit. Wise, say that and they've got one of the worst defensive records in the competition. But Alexander Golovin is probably the name everyone knows. He put applies his trade for Monaco in League are. He is their star player, very creative. Remember one of his one of their friendlies, the other day ping this ball to the back post. Might have been offside something, but it was a delicious ball. Zoobar, he's a very well known named. But yeah,...

Golivan, if they're going to go on a bit of a run, look to see it. Maybe a little bit of a breakout from him at this tournament. Golivan. This year he's been really good in terms of keep passes, ranked ten in terms of key passes across the big five leagues, so he's had a pretty good year for Monaco. He's probably going to be playing a wing, off an edge for this Russian team. They don't really play with a CAM, so he's probably going to be playing off a wing and hopefully we're going to see a lot of balls into Zooba. From him. So it's going to be interesting to see how they play. Games for group be are going to be shared between Denmark and Russia. So Copenhagen will be hosting all three of Denmark's games. Russia will be hosting rush has to. And then the other game between Belgium and Finland, I believe it's been played at St Petersburg for Russia, not Moscow, and they are in terms of a prediction, we will once again use the match predictor on the euro website. So looking at Denmark Finland's look, I can't see Finland scoring too many goals, to be honest, against these teams we just mentioned, the Belgium of the good defense. Denmark have a good defense. Rushes isn't great, but yeah, I just don't see them scoring too many goals. So I'm going to say Denmark, I'm actually going to back them in and I'm going to say they win three. Ill here I think Denmark might come out of the gates hot. Belgium rush up. It is in Russia. Do believe Yad's in Russia, so that could play a factor. Not I know the crowd capacities are different for every city, so that's going to be something going to take into account. But for me Belgium and is going to be too strong for Russia. Russia's defense is very leaky. So I could see Belgium scoring four goals and I don't think Russia get on the score sheet, to be honest. That moves us into match day to where Finland and Russia is actually the opening game of the round. Finland Russia Wall. I would... to get around Finland, but I just think because it's in Russia, it's really, really not going to help the finish side. But you know what, let's show Finland a bit of love. Let's go to all draw. Neither defenses sensational, neither attack is sensational, but let's hope for it. Open affair that just they just throw handmaker. Is the one another. The Denmark Belgium, two very, very solid teams. I have a bit more faith in Belgian than Denmark in terms of being a bit more consistent, but it isn't Copenhagen that that could play a factor. So I'm actually going to say at all draw once again, as I said in the first game. So it's not saying Belgium going to win all three games, which is interesting. And then moving into match day three, Finland, Belgium. Look, could be nasty for Finland, to be honest. I'm going to say it for Neil. Actually we'll go three because they do have a better defense than Russia. And then for Russia, Denmark. It is in Copenhagen. Denmark are the better side Russia. It's got a solid attack. Those I'll go to one, to Denmark. So that will be it for group. Be heabling up some of those results. I Have Belgium finishing on top, finishing above Denmark on gold difference. I've got them having a goal difference of seven Denmark, with for both picking up seven points. Moving through to the knockout stage. I have Russia finishing third on goal difference, both picking up one point. Russia have a negative five goal difference, Finland negative six. Russia won't go through. So if you listen to the Group A preview, I basically ruled out Switzerland. So look, I'm I'm going to have to maybe start showing some love to some of the third place teams. Obviously it's hard to predict because there will be some upsets that we just don't see coming, but it's going to be interesting. To see how group be unfolds and whether I've got anything close to that. So, if we are doing two groups and episode, this will be the end of episode one of the Euro previews and you will be able to find group seeing d preview very very soon. Otherwise, this will be the end of the second episode and you'll be... to find the group see preview very very soon likewise. So thanks for tuning in again. Let me know how you think group be one unfold, whether I've been harsh on filling or Russia, whether I've been too nice to Belgium and Denmark. Let me know your thoughts and we'll move into groups. See on the next episode.

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