Group B in this year’s Euros, contains Denmark, Finland, Belgium and Russia. The favourites are undoubtedly Belgium, with their myriad of superstars.
Belgium qualified for this tournament with ease. They scored 40 goals, whilst conceding only 3! Russia was beaten in that group easily by Martinez’ side. Going into this group, they will surely feel that they have a mental advantage over them. Belgium has a fitness concern over the fractured eye socket of Kevin de Bruyne. They will desperately be hoping he will be fit. Watch out for the powerful striker Romalu Lukaku.
Denmark comes into the tournament on a high after victories in all three of their opening qualifying matches. They scored 14 and conceded zero. However, the opponents that they will have to face here in Group B play better football than Israel, Moldova, and Austria. Denmark are managed by Kasper Hjulmand. Hjulmand was due to be replaced for this year’s Euros, but global events have given him another chance. Watch out for Christian Eriksen. The classy playmaker will be keen to be the one to make things happen for the Danish.
Since hosting the last World Cup in 2018, Russia has been rebuilding recently, partly due to retirements. Goalkeeper, Anton Shunin looks set to take the place of now retired, Igor Akinfeev. However, veteran centre-back, Sergei Ignashevich has also retired and manager, Stanislav Cherchesov is still searching for stable replacements in defence. Therefore, Russia looks weak at the back and may struggle in this group because of that. However, young defenders will get their chance to shine! The key man, striker Artem Dzyuba started every qualifier and as a tall man, is Russia’s focal point.
Finland has progressed massively recently. In their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, they didn’t win a single game. After that dismal performance, they took a chance and appointed former school teacher, Markku Kanerva. Since his appointment, with almost no coaching experience, Kanerva has done an amazing job by taking his country to their first-ever international tournament! The one to watch for Finland is Teemu Pukki. The striker scored 10 of the 16 goals in qualifying. He is expected to recover from an ankle injury and will need to deliver.