The 12-month delay of Euro 2020 is a guarantee that the line-ups of the participating teams will change. But how drastic are the expected changes?
As an unexpected year will come to completion before the European Championship, sports analytics predict that certain teams will be more prepared to win the Champion title.
In Euro 2012, Italy became an international sports news sensation during its series of victorious games, even though Spain ultimately managed to win the finals.
This time around, however, there is hope for the new generation to restore the former glory of Italy’s national football team. In the midfield, for instance, Sandro Tonali, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Gaetano Castrovilli are the rising stars. It is highly likely that Tonali will have a significant breakthrough even before summer next year.
If not for the delay, attacker Nicolo Zaniolo would be missing Euro 2020 due to a rupture of his cruciate ligament. With the current situation changing the event’s schedule, Zaniolo should have enough time to fix his health and play for the national team in 2021.
Italy’s defensive players, however, are yet to be decided. As players like Bonucci and Chellini are reaching retirement age, Azzurri’s coach, Roberto Mancini, is hoping to acquire new talents for the position. Luca Pellegrini, currently playing for Cagliari, might prove himself to be a suitable candidate.
With Ajax reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, the Netherlands seems to have fresh inspiration for international competitions. The country now has a promising team of young talents in the making that is pretty much ready for the Euro Championship.
Besides, the return of Memphis Depay and Steven Bergwijn is another boost for the team’s chance to succeed. Jetro Willems may also be back, but, his participation still requires confirmation due to the player’s three severe traumas in the past six years.
Portugal’s national team is renowned for its high-quality defense. The country has a team with some gifted yet aging players. Even though there are no doubts that Cristiano Ronaldo will still be playing for years to come, it is difficult to say the same about the defenders Pepe and Jose Fonte.
For this reason, Portugal’s coach, Fernando Santos, will be setting out Ruben Dias and Ruben Semedo for the positions in defense. In addition to this, we will likely see Joao Felix play in 2021.
Winning the European Championships in 2008 and 2012, Spain lost its Champion title in 2016 when Portugal scored 1-0 against France in the finals.
Next summer, the Spanish national team will have Jose Gaya playing at left-back and Sergio Busquets alongside Fabian Ruiz and Saul in the midfield.
Marco Asensio is likely to recover from his ligament injury and feature on the left. Besides this, Mikel Oyarzabal will be hoping for a breakthrough in the Championship, regardless of his recent challenges.