Just 24 hours before Euro 2020 Championship gets underway and the excitement levels are immensely growing across the continent.
With 24 countries ready to give out all their might in the pursuit of becoming European champions. The likes of France, Germany, Belgium and Italy are considered as the ultimate favorites.
Some countries are ranked as the tournament’s underdogs. But, as previous edition have shown football fans, no team can be completely written off. That said, it won’t be out of place to also look at the chances of other teams regarded as the “Dark Horses” of the tournament.
5 Euro 2020 Underdogs Who Could Spring A Surprise
Turkey has always been one of the underdog team to always watch out for since their impressive outing at the Korea/Japan World Cup in 2002, giving the way they gave the Samba Boys of Brazil a run for their money at the group stage and finishing the tournament as the third best team.
They boast the second youngest team going into the tournament couple with the blend of experience just like they had the likes of Hakan Sukur, Yildrim Basturk, and Hasan Sas who led them to a third place finish at the Korea/Japan World Cup in 2002.
At this year European Championship, the “Crescent-Stars” would bank on the experiences of Lille title winning striker Burak Yilmaz, AC Milan midfield maestro Hakan Calhanoglu, and the solidity of Leicester’s centre back Caglar Soyuncu and Ozan Kabak.
Been in Group A alongside Italy one of the tournament favorite, Switzerland, and Wales means they also have an equal chance of qualifying to the next round against the other teams with the decent quality in the squad.
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The Danish are no doubt one of the side to look out for at Euro 2020, been that they’ve won it before despite not qualifying for Championship initially when they won it back in 1992. Denmark are unbeaten in their last five matches which is a big pointer to how inform the Dane are going into this tournament.
The former European Champions may not boast the qualities they possesses when they won it with the likes of Sand, the Laudrup brothers, and others.
Yet they’ve got themselves amazing players who are doing well for themselves in top European clubs like Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen, Leicester’s number one goalie Kasper Schmeichel, Tottenham Hotspur’s defensive midfielder Pierre Hojbjerg, Yousef Poulsen, and Kasper Dolberg.
The Dane are in Group B alongside Finland, Russia, and Belgium one of the best side in the tournament brimming with plethora of talent. However, irrespective of the teams they would face Denmark has enough quality in their ranks to upset the darlings of the competition.
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While Russia best performances at the European Championship till date was their impressive outing in 2008, reaching the semi finals unexpectedly despite football enthusiast not tipping them as one of the tournament’s surprise team.
Away from the European Championship, another competition which the Russian had fared impressively was the phenomenon outing they had at the 2018 World Cup, where they got to quarter finals for the first time since the post Soviet history as the host nation.
That said, their other European Championship outings has been very porous compared to their 2008 and 2018 World Cup performances that got the fans stayed glued to their seat. However, the Russian fans would like to see a decent performances from their team at this year competition considering the decent players they’ve got in the team like AS Monaco’s forward Golovin et al.
Though they would miss the leadership and experience of their retired goalie Igor Akinfeev, but they’ve got the experiences of Golovin, Mario Fernandes, Denis Cheryshev and Yuri Zhirkov to bank on.
Ukraine ain’t known to be a powerhouse nation when it comes to football, but over the years they’ve proved to be one of the nation that could produce fantastic football talents.
Going into the Euro Championship, Ukraine may not have a great striker in the mood of their manager in his heyday with AC Milan but they certainly has a compact team they would give any side a run for their money.
They are placed in Group C alongside Austria, Netherlands the group favorite, and North Macedonia. Looking at the teams that makeup the group, the Ukrainian could hold their own against all of the teams should they start the tournament with a win and positive performances.
The stars Andriy Shevchenko led side would bank on to deliver the goals when the competition commences are former Sevilla winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, Taras Stepanenko, City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko who has been fantastic for them in their friendlies, Atalanta’s midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi, West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko, and Gent’s Roman Yaremchuk.
Like Iceland, like Finland, another Scandinavian country that would be making their debut at the Euro 2020 Championship following the decent outing Iceland had at the World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Without doubt the “Eagles Owl” fans would certainly looks forward to a landmark tournament from their team when they set out against their opponents in Group B.
The Eagles Owl may not have the leadership and experiences of their former star players such as Jari Litmanen who is widely regarded as Finland’s greatest footballer of all time, former Liverpool’s centre defender Sami Hyypia, and Mikael Forssell to call on to.
However, they’ve got the leadership and experiences of both Norwich City’s forward Teemu Pukki and Leverkusen’s goalie Lukas Hradecky. For the Finnish the long wait is finally over for them, so for every team they come across in this year Championship such team should be wary of the damages they could cause.
All of the listed teams don’t necessarily means they would win the Euro 2020 Championship or not. However, they’re teams that football enthusiast should fancy based on their underdog tag and they kind of players they all possess going into the tournament proper.