With the 2018 World Cup coming to an end, fans are already anticipating the next major international tournament in Euro 2020. With a new format for the tournament, as well as multiple hosts around the continent, fans have had mixed opinions regarding the changes. And while qualifications for the tournament haven't even been played yet, fans cannot help but make their predictions for the tournament. In December, a draw will be held to determine the qualification groups for Euro 2020 - and then matches will take place over the next year.
While it is always quite tough to predict the outcome of the Euro, there are many nations who are always considered to be among the favorites including France, Germany, Italy, England and Spain. You also have countries like the Netherlands, Portugal and Croatia who tend to be next in line - although all three sides are among the early favorites this time around. As we have seen with previous competitions, many of the top countries may end up failing to qualify.
And a two year span is long enough for a nation to overhaul its talent with new names in the mix - so it will certainly be interesting to see which countries rise up for the occasion, as well as those who will disappoint. The latest World Cup proved that anything could happen as we witnessed many of the early favorites crash prior to the semi-finals. With today's list, we look at 20 early bold predictions for Euro 2020.
20 Portugal Won't Make It Past The Group Stage
The 2016 Euro winners will have a major task on their hands as the reigning champions - but it is highly unlikely that they repeat. In fact, we expect Portugal to fail to advance from the group stage this time around.
The team is still highly revolved around Cristiano Ronaldo - who will be 35 years old at the time of the tournament and his international career will be reaching its end.
The younger talents haven't exactly set the world on fire, which means the Euro 2020 could be a transitional period for the nation from one era to another.
19 Turkey Will Qualify And Have An Impressive Showing
Turkey have failed to make impact on the international scene Euro 2008 when they advanced to the semi-finals of the tournament. Since then, they crashed out of Euro 2016 in group stage and failed to qualify to any other tournament. Fans have grown frustrated in recent years as the team has put in some underwhelming performances - but there are some rising talents who may guarantee the nation a place at the upcoming Euro. Not only do we see Turkey making it back to the Euro, but we expect them to have an impressive showing with the likes of Cengiz Under, Enes Unal and Emre Mor.
18 Spain Will Reach The Final
With three consecutive underwhelming tournaments, the pressure will mount for Spain at Euro 2020. Following a dominant run in which they won Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 - Spain have crashed early in the three recent tournaments despite having a strong pool of talent. And while it will be easy for some fans to overlook Spain due to the rivaling countries, Spain have as good of a chance as any other country to win the tournament. At Euro 2020, we expect them to return to form by reaching the finals for the first time in eight years.
17 Croatia Will Have An Underwhelming Tournament
The golden generation of Croatia will have another chance to redeem itself following a final loss against France in the 2018 World Cup. And while expectations will be high for Croatia, we have our reservations about the team's performance at the upcoming Euro.
Not only will many of their core players be older - some of whom may not make it to the tournament - but the competition will also be extremely stiff.
Throughout the World Cup, Croatia had a favorable draw which they took advantage of - so it will be interesting to see whether they can replicate this year's success.
16 Norway Will Qualify For Their First Major Tournament Since 2000
There was a time when Norway had a strong generation that qualified to multiple major tournaments - and even made it to the Round of 16 of the 1998 World Cup after defeating Brazil in the group stage. But those days are long gone as the nation has struggled to qualify to any competition since Euro 2000 due to the lack of talent compared to other European nations. For the first time in a while, things may be looking up for Norway as they have a decent chance to qualify for the upcoming Euro - so we won't be surprised to see them return to the mix.
15 Italy Won't Make It Past The Group Stage
For the first time in 60 years, Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup after having been eliminated by Sweden in the playoff qualifier. With newly appointed head coach Roberto Mancini, Italy looks to get back on track for the upcoming Euro 2020.
While they have certainly upgraded as far as coaching, it is the lack of talent that will hold back Italy from advancing further than the group stage.
We predict that this will be another disappointing campaign with an early group exit at Euro 2020. Italy is no longer among the elite nations, and it has shown in their disappointing performances at the two previous World Cup tournaments.
14 Denmark Will Reach The Semi-Finals
Denmark had an impressive showing at the 2018 World Cup and were eliminated by penalties against eventual finalist Croatia. In two years, their younger players will have more experience to assist them in challenging for the Euro 2020. With Christian Eriksen leading the way, we expect Denmark to go even further than they did at the most recent edition of the World Cup by reaching the semi-finals of the tournament. Based on their performances in recent years, as well as the overall talent, Denmark are likely to have a much more successful campaign than most fans expect.
13 Kylian Mbappe Will Be The Top Scorer
In his first ever major international tournament, Kylian Mbappe finished with three goal to assist France in winning the 2018 World Cup. And while he has already impressed over the past two years, fans are now expecting him to solidify himself as one of the best players in the world. At Euro 2020, Mbappe will look to leave his mark once again on the tournament and we predict that he will finish as the top scorer. As long as he remains healthy, and remains in top form, Mbappe will certainly be among the favorites to have the most goals to his name - although he may be rivaled by his teammate Antoine Griezmann.
12 France Will Exit In The Semi-Finals
While we predict a great showing from Kylian Mbappe, that doesn't necessarily mean that France will win the tournament. It is easy to see why so many people have them as an early favorite, but stranger things have happened in the past.
While they have a brilliant generation that happens to be very young, France didn't exactly look unbeatable throughout the World Cup.
We predict that France will reach the semi-finals only to lose against another heavyweight. Depending on the bracket, we could certainly see Belgium getting revenge for their 2018 World Cup exit.
11 Macedonia Will Qualify To The Euro For The First Time
With the changed format for Euro 2020, as well as the newly introduced UEFA Nations League, Macedonia found themselves in a group where they have the advantage to advance to the next stage. One of those nations will be guaranteed a spot at Euro 2020 due to the UEFA Nations League draw. And while anything can happen when you put teams of similar level against each other, Macedonia seems to have the advantage over the remaining teams in the group. And if Macedonia happen to have a successful campaign, then it will be their very first qualification for the Euro tournament.
10 Germany Will Come Down Crashing...Again
It's safe to say that Germany crashing out of the group stage was the biggest surprise of the 2018 World Cup. Having been the favorites for the tournament, Germany failed to live up to expectations - which has brought on some changes off the field as well. The team will be aiming to redeem themselves at the 2020 Euro - a competition they have failed to win since 1996 - but we expect Germany to flounder once again. Their decision to keep current coach Joachim Low may backfire after all - especially given the recent controversies surrounding members of the national team.
9 The Netherlands Will Miss Their Third Consecutive Major Tournament
For decades, Netherlands have always been considered among the favorites to win nearly every single tournament they have participated in - although they have only been able to win Euro 1988 thanks to Marco Van Basten.
The current generation is severely lacking in talent compared to those from the past, so it's no coincidence that Netherlands have now missed out on both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.
We expect the trend to continue with the upcoming Euro, as Netherlands' current generation simply hasn't shown to be good enough. That's not to mention that they are lacking stars - which wasn't an issue for them in previous times.
8 Gianluigi Buffon Will Play At The Tournament And Retire
Gianluigi Buffon had been eyeing the 2018 World Cup for a while, but there were rumors about his retirement once Italy failed to qualify. But now, it seems like Buffon has a new goal in mind with the Euro 2020 looming around. It's for that very same reason as to why he chose to sign a two year deal with Paris Saint-Germain, as he hopes to retire from football with Euro 2020 being his swan song. It will be interesting to see whether Buffon's place remains safe as some believe that the time has come for Italy to move on and build for the future.
7 Bale Will Lead Wales Back To Euro Qualification
Plenty of fans were disappointed to see Wales miss out on the 2018 World Cup as they had been hoping to see Gareth Bale on the biggest stage. They were only a few points away from qualification, so it isn't unreasonable to expect them to make it to Euro 2020. Following an impressive campaign at Euro 2016 in which Bale shone bright, fans will be hoping that he can once again explode on the international scene. The past two years of his career have been riddled with injuries that kept him on the bench, but Bale is determined to prove his worth and there is no better place than an international tournament.
6 Russia Will Have A Bad Campaign
As the host of the 2018 World Cup, Russia managed a successful campaign thanks to their tactics that allowed them to make it to the Quarter Finals and take Croatia to penalties. For many years, they had a reputation as a team that is guaranteed to disappoint since they rarely performed up to expectations.
With the home field advantage no longer being valid at Euro 2020, we expect Russia to return to their normal level.
The future doesn't look too bright for the national team, as they will likely remain as inconsistent as they've been for the past decade.
5 Cristiano Ronaldo Will Not Play
As soon as Uruguay eliminated Portugal from the 2018 World Cup, fans were immediately wondering whether Cristiano Ronaldo would be present at the Euro 2020. He hasn't responded to questions regarding his future in international football, but now that he is 33 years old - Ronaldo might want to extend his career as much as possible. Many players have been able to do so by retiring from international football, and we expect Ronaldo to do the same.
Since Portugal's current generation hasn't particularly impressed, Ronaldo may look to continue dominating domestic football as he takes on a new journey with his move to Juventus.
4 Iceland Won't Qualify For The Tournament
After a remarkable display at Euro 2016, in which they progressed to the last eight, Iceland once again made history by qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Their first match in the tournament happened to be their best as they managed to get a draw against Argentina, but it wasn't enough to put them through to the next round. They were disappointing in their following two fixtures against Croatia and Nigeria, as they failed to replicate the very same form from two years ago. We predict that the third time won't be the charm for Iceland as we don't see them qualifying for the upcoming Euro.
3 England Will Have A Disappointing Campaign
After so many disappointing campaigns, England finally returned to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup although their quest was cut short.
As you would expect, fans are already excited for the upcoming Euro 2020 where they hope that the team will go even further.
But the pool of talent isn't quite as good as other favorites to win it all. And there is no doubt that they benefited from having a more favorable draw at the World Cup. Although fans will be supporting the team on their road to bring it home, we predict that England will have an underwhelming showing.
2 Poland Will Bounce Back With Great Showing
Prior to the 2018 World Cup, there were many analysts who expected Poland to be among the better underdogs. They turned out to be severely underwhelming with Lewandowski struggling in all three matches. One of the main criticism is that the team is too reliant on Lewandowski, which hasn't been necessarily productive in tournaments. At Euro 2020, Poland will have another chance to redeem themselves and we expect them to do so with a strong showing. They certainly have the talent to bounce back, so it will be interesting to see whether they pull it off.
1 Belgium Will Win The Tournament
Belgium's golden generation will have another chance to win a tournament at Euro 2020, and they are already listed as one of the early favorites. They had an impressive display to say the least, beating the likes of Brazil and England to reach the semi-finals. And while they were narrowly defeated by France, Belgium were just as worthy of making the finals.
Barring any major injuries, we predict that Belgium will come out victorious at Euro 2020 - which would certainly be deserved based on their play. With the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, Belgium have one of the most talented squads in the world.
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