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On The Ball
On The Ball

Episode · 7 months ago

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

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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. 

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Welcome back to the on the ballpodcast. This might be a new episode or might be continuing on from theGroup A preview up. Still not sure that to do an episode per groupor an episode per two groups, but we'll see how long this one takesand that will probably dictate what we end up choosing. But looking at thegroup 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 tengames, which is quite simply incredible. That is equal second out of allthe contestants in this year's competition. So they are one of the most informedteams and they've also had arguably one that arguably statistically, one of the toughestrunnings. 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 thelast 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 bythis team is how they haven't been able to, you know, rack upfour or five goals a game with the attacking talent that they have at theirdisposal. 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 atonly be pessimistic and they've got some good young players, Uruti Lemans, they'vealso 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, thegenuine 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 asa group to really win a major title.

I think the World Cup and twomore than next year, I guess. So I guess that's not too farout of reach. But I think it's a big ass for a lotof players at their age. I think most of their squads over the ageof thirty, one of the oldest squads in the competition. It's a bigass 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 intheir prime but coming into the back end of it. So it's going tobe a really, really big tournament for them. I think this is theirbest chance that they've had yet. I think other years their squad might havebeen better on paper and the opposition might have been weaker, but I thinknow they've played together for, you know, eight or nine years, is asa court group, so by now they should be as good as aclub 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 madethe 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 theirkey players, this the star man's got to be Kevin de Bruner, oneof 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 expectedassists minus penalties. So he's got his hands all over a lot of mencities 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 interms of big five leagues for shot creating actions. He's right up there forpasses into the opposition box and he's also right up there for dribbling into thefinal third. So he does it all, passing, shooting, not necessarily defensively, but that's not his job. Dribbling, he is just an absolutegun and if he has his best international tournament today, that could go along way into seeing Belgiumate lift their first...

...international trophy, and he's going tobe a key to it. HAS ADDS obviously not in as great form ashe 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 Brianit going forward in attack is going to be their main weapon. Another oneof 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 namefor himself just coming to my head. I know a lot of these arein penalty shootouts, but I know Jordan Pickford kind of developed a little bitof Legend Stat it's really for his performances in the two thousand and Eighteen WorldCup. And then thinking about Mexico's keeper Gumo Oh Showa, he like I'llbe on Sidner and even really know what he does at club football, butwhen he puts on that Mexican Jersey becomes, I with the best goalkeeper in theworld. Watched the USA Mexico highlights of their nation's league final the otherday and he was on absolute fire, like he has been at so manyinternational tournaments in the last ten years. So go check that out if youhaven't. But courtoire real madrud keeper, obviously a big name, big playerin general, is a big man, but he's going to have to havea really good tournament for them. He saw in the two thousand and EighteenWorld Cup he got lowery had a really good tournament bought France, and keepersgenuinely do play a big role in their team success. So called Tire's gotto have a big tournament here. He's had a really good season for ourMadrud and another guy like to mention is Jeremy Docu. Now he's not goingto be starting, eighteen year old from Ren rent have produced a lot ofexciting talent in the last three or four years. He's likely going to beon the bench and I think he should come off the bench because he couldhave a real big impact on how this team goes in the last twenty minutesof games. He is in the top twenty in Europe's Big Five Leagues forsuccessful dribbles per ninety. He's also in the Big Five top league top twelvein progressive dribbles per nine. So really...

...good with bullet feet and can imaginewith some tiring bodies, I can imagine his youthful and few the easy asmcoming onto the field, maybe replacing some of the older boys like has oreand stuff like that, and just cutting apart defenses, especially in the earlystage of the tournaments. But I can't see why I can't do it thewhole way through. So Sheremon Docu is one who could have a little bitof a breakout tournament off the bench for Belgium, and I hope he getsthat 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 teamsabsolutely stacked. crasscoes probably not even want to get there. And he's beena revelation for a letter coming true this year. You at elements. He'sgoing to be at the base of midfield. Had A really good year for LeicesterCity. Dreas merchants probably going to be there. He's at another goodyear at his club and the Cacras de Bryan, as I mentioned, they'veall had really good years, all respectively making their own league's team of theseason. So Belgium huge chance of winning this thing. Will talk about itlater in my knockout predictions preview. And moving on to the other Group Bsides, first of all looking at better Denmark. They're actually really highly rankedin the feofle world rankings, like I can't remember what it is, butwhen I was doing my research they were really, really high. They're pickedup twenty points from their last ten games, so pretty, pretty solid. They'vehad also the easiest of drawers. They've scored twenty three goals. Prettysolid and only conceded eight. So no one's really talking about Denmark as theyprobably 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, likeMartin Rothway and stuff or past it. But they're still going to be avery, very good team and they made the round of sixteen and the twentyeighteen World Cup. Didn't qualify for the two thousand and sixteen years old twothousand fourteen World Cups, so don't quite have the big tournament pedigree. They'relike others, but they're really, really good team. Some of the look, I'll be honest, their players aren't...

...in the greatest of form, abit similar to whales, like I mentioned in Group A. But as ateam I think they are a lot better. I remember watching some of their nation'sLeague's highlights and they had some really good performances. Some names to mentionin terms of statistics. I don't know if either of these two are eithergoing 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 personwould 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 areally dominant force that played some great long balls. Every time I watched forme was really always one of their best players. And they've also got cornnearly as don't know much about this bloke, but I know he's an absolute aerialthreat, so watch out for him coming on and playing a bit likeart and Zooba does from Russia, just being an aerial presence. That we'regoing to see a few of these tall strikers is tournament. I think veghorse is going to start for the Netherlands. We've got zoober from Russia and thisguy could also have an impact for Denmark. So Watch out for thosetwo guys. Maybe not start in the first game, but they might havean impact later on in the tournament. So Denmark the second favorite to winthis group and that's probably why. And now these two teams that on thegreatest of form but definitely not worth sleeping on. Finland's they have picked upseventeen points in their last twenty ten appearances. Had A pretty easy fixture. It'sgot to be honest. It's got to be said, only scored fourteengoals, and that's definitely where the warriors come for this team. They've playeda lot easier teams and they're going to be playing in the tournament and they'vebeen 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 atthe 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'llbe honest. He's really the only player of note I know. Lucasfor Adett ski is their goalkeeper, being...

...a legend of Labor Cusen for along time. Not Don't think you're still there. Reckon, he might havegone to Frankfurt or something, but I could be wrong, I could begetting 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 oPouki had another good year for no wich and the championship. So he shouldbe coming in red hot form and he's about the only player I know tobe on as I know they have Kamara are the centermid from rangers. Hehad obviously a good year. In that range is title winning season of dominancewith Steven Gerrard. This is there. I don't know when was the lasttime they made a European championship or if they ever have. I'm sure theyhave because they've had some good players like Yari Littman and but they've made thelast 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 atrush 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 notas 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 ofthe two thousand and Eighteen World Cup, but that was in Russia, whichI think definitely needs to be taken into account. Before that, their lastthree big international tournaments took place more ended in the group stage. So Yeah, look, they have too many key players of note. The more justa very compact, solid unit. Wise, say that and they've got one ofthe worst defensive records in the competition. But Alexander Golovin is probably the nameeveryone knows. He put applies his trade for Monaco in League are.He is their star player, very creative. Remember one of his one of theirfriendlies, the other day ping this ball to the back post. Mighthave been offside something, but it was a delicious ball. Zoobar, he'sa very well known named. But yeah,...

Golivan, if they're going to goon a bit of a run, look to see it. Maybe alittle bit of a breakout from him at this tournament. Golivan. This yearhe's been really good in terms of keep passes, ranked ten in terms ofkey passes across the big five leagues, so he's had a pretty good yearfor Monaco. He's probably going to be playing a wing, off an edgefor this Russian team. They don't really play with a CAM, so he'sprobably going to be playing off a wing and hopefully we're going to see alot of balls into Zooba. From him. So it's going to be interesting tosee how they play. Games for group be are going to be sharedbetween 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 Belgiumand Finland, I believe it's been played at St Petersburg for Russia,not Moscow, and they are in terms of a prediction, we will onceagain use the match predictor on the euro website. So looking at Denmark Finland'slook, I can't see Finland scoring too many goals, to be honest,against these teams we just mentioned, the Belgium of the good defense. Denmarkhave a good defense. Rushes isn't great, but yeah, I just don't seethem scoring too many goals. So I'm going to say Denmark, I'mactually 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 rushup. It is in Russia. Do believe Yad's in Russia, so thatcould play a factor. Not I know the crowd capacities are different for everycity, so that's going to be something going to take into account. Butfor me Belgium and is going to be too strong for Russia. Russia's defenseis very leaky. So I could see Belgium scoring four goals and I don'tthink Russia get on the score sheet, to be honest. That moves usinto match day to where Finland and Russia is actually the opening game of theround. Finland Russia Wall. I would...

...like to get around Finland, butI just think because it's in Russia, it's really, really not going tohelp the finish side. But you know what, let's show Finland a bitof love. Let's go to all draw. Neither defenses sensational, neither attack issensational, but let's hope for it. Open affair that just they just throwhandmaker. Is the one another. The Denmark Belgium, two very,very solid teams. I have a bit more faith in Belgian than Denmark interms of being a bit more consistent, but it isn't Copenhagen that that couldplay 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 towin all three games, which is interesting. And then moving into matchday three, Finland, Belgium. Look, could be nasty for Finland, tobe honest. I'm going to say it for Neil. Actually we'll gothree 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 pickingup seven points. Moving through to the knockout stage. I have Russia finishingthird on goal difference, both picking up one point. Russia have a negativefive goal difference, Finland negative six. Russia won't go through. So ifyou listen to the Group A preview, I basically ruled out Switzerland. Solook, I'm I'm going to have to maybe start showing some love to someof the third place teams. Obviously it's hard to predict because there will besome 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 bethe end of episode one of the Euro previews and you will be able tofind group seeing d preview very very soon. Otherwise, this will be the endof the second episode and you'll be...

...able to find the group see previewvery very soon likewise. So thanks for tuning in again. Let me knowhow you think group be one unfold, whether I've been harsh on filling orRussia, whether I've been too nice to Belgium and Denmark. Let me knowyour thoughts and we'll move into groups. See on the next episode.

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