England come into Euro 2020 as the favourite among the bookies with just under a month until the tournament begins… but what is their potential route to the final and who might they play along the way?
- After being postponed last year, Euro 2020 is now under a month away
- The tournament kicks off on June 11 and runs for a month through to July 11
- England’s first game comes on June 13, when they play Croatia at Wembley
- They could potentially reach the quarter-finals with every game played at ‘home’
A Harry Maguire thunderbolt gave England a 2-1 win over Poland at the end of March, in what was England’s last ‘competitive’ match before Euro 2020 finally gets underway in June.
While the stars of English football now finish their club campaigns, with domestic and European titles to compete for, Gareth Southgate’s focus now switches firmly towards this summer’s championships.
And with UEFA’s official confirmation of the match venues, England now know their potential route to the final, which will be held at Wembley Stadium on July 11.
The players have under two weeks to cement their place in Southgate’s squad, with his announcement to come no later than June 1.
Despite the fact the tournament is being hosted in 11 different cities to commemorate its 60th anniversary, England won’t have to worry about a busy summer of travel. In fact, they could potentially play all-but one game at Wembley en route to winning the championships.
With the tournament swiftly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through England’s potential route to the final.
Gareth Southgate now has under a month to officially confirm his squad for the tournament
Where else to start but the group stages? England will play their first match of the tournament on June 13 against World Cup rivals Croatia at Wembley.
It was only three years ago that Mario Mandzukic scored an extra-time winner to knock England out of the World Cup semi-finals, but the the Three Lions now have their opportunity for revenge.
England then renew what is the oldest international rivalry in world football as they take on fellow Brits Scotland on June 18, again at Wembley.
Incredibly, it was in 1872 when the pair first played each other in a 0-0 draw. And it was a stalemate when they last met in 2017, with Harry Kane rescuing England in stoppage time.
England’s final group game comes on June 22nd, as they take on Czech Republic in yet another game at Wembley.
- June 13: England vs Croatia, 2pm at Wembley
- June 18: England vs Scotland, 8pm at Wembley
- June 22: Czech Republic vs England, 8pm at Wembley
Euro 2020 groups in full
Group F contains Germany, France and reigning champions Portugal in a stunning quartet
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, North Macedonia
Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Scotland
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia
Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Hungary
There are a number of permutations that face England should they progress to the knockout stages, which they can do by winning Group D, finishing as the runners-up or as one of four best third-place teams.
The first two are methods are certainly more straightforward. If they win Group D, they’ll play the runner-up from Group F. If they finish as runners-up of Group D, they’ll play the team that finishes second from Group E.
Interestingly, with Group F being so strong, it would actually most likely suit England to finish second rather than first… on paper anyway!
If England win Group D:
- June 29: England vs Group F runners-up (Germany, France, Portugal, Hungary), 5pm at Wembley.
If England finish Group D runners-up:
- June 28: England vs Group E runners-up (Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia), 6pm in Copenhagen.
As stated, England can also reach the last-16 by finishing as one of four best third-place teams.
Should this be the case, England will play the winners of either Group B, C or E.
If England finish as one of the four best third-placed teams:
- June 27: England vs Group B winners (Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland), 8pm in Seville.
- June 27: England vs Group C winners (Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, North Macedonia), 5pm in Budapest.
- June 29: England vs Group E winners (Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia), 8pm in Glasgow.
Just as with the round of 16, there are an abundance of permutations that face England in the quarter-finals.
These depend on which last-16 tie they end up playing – again being as Group D winners, runners-up or progressing as one of the four best third-place teams.
If England win Group D and their last-16 game:
- June 29 at Wembley: England vs Group E winners (Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia or 3rd in Group A/B/C/D.
If England finish Group D runners-up and win last-16 game:
- July 2 in St Petersburg: England vs Group F winner (Portugal, France, Germany, Hungary) or 3rd in Group A/B/C.
If England win last-16 game after finishing as one of four best-third place teams:
- July 2: England vs Group A winners or Group C runners-up, 8pm in Munich.
- July 3: England vs Group A runners-up or Group B runners-up, 6pm in Baku.
- July 3: England vs Group D winners or Group F runners-up, 8pm in Rome.
The semi-finals and final
Prior to the results in the previous rounds, there’s simply no way of knowing England’s potential opponents in the semi-finals or final this summer.
However, we do know the dates and location. The semi-finals will be played on July 6 and 7, with both matches taking place at Wembley.
The final will then take place just four days later on July 11, once more at Wembley.
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