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Twenty-four nations will enter this summer time’s European Championship finals. Only one can go away with the trophy. But which one?
Will Portugal defend the crown they received 5 years in the past? Can Germany or Spain win a file fourth title? Is one other Greece-style shock doable? Or can England lastly get their fingers on some silverware once more?
By tendencies, statistics and patterns from tournaments previous, BBC Sport has eradicated 23 nations and concluded which one will be topped European champions at Wembley on 11 July.
Our recommendation, although, is that you simply possibly do not take this too critically. It is principally only a little bit of enjoyable.
That mentioned, listed here are the issues we have determined that the Euro 2020 winners will need to have executed…
We’ll begin with a easy but apparent one.
Since the play-offs had been launched into the qualifying course of for the Euro 96 match in England, no facet reaching the finals by way of this methodology has gone on to assert the trophy.
Removing the nations who reached the Euro 2020 finals by way of the play-offs strips away 4 from our listing. Sadly, which means a fast exit for Scotland, who are partaking of their first main match finals for the reason that World Cup in France in 1998.
Top their qualifying group
The 1996 match noticed the finals expanded from eight to 16 groups for the primary time, that means the highest two sides went by way of from every qualifying group versus only one.
Since then, although, topping your qualifying group has confirmed to be a ceremony of passage for a rustic’s trophy credentials, with each eventual winner having completed first of their respective desk.
This narrows our area significantly, decreasing it to the 10 group winners in Euro 2020 qualifying, whereas additionally resulting in some main casualties.
Current holders Portugal are gone, as are the Netherlands and Denmark, winners in 1988 and 1992 respectively. Another residence nation, Wales, are additionally out of the operating.
Don’t be the hosts
In the 10 tournaments since 1980, just one nation has received the trophy on residence soil – a Michel Platini-inspired France, method again in 1984.
With this yr’s match unfold throughout the continent and 12 nations enjoying host, eradicating the host nations sees the sphere thinned out additional with 4 casualties, together with three-time winners Germany and Spain.
We additionally lose England from the combination (presumably they’re going to be eradicated by way of a penalty shootout), that means Three Lions followers will have suffered at the least 56 years of harm by the point the Qatar World Cup comes round in 2022.
Have appeared in a earlier ultimate
Five of the previous six winners of the Euros have appeared in a earlier ultimate. The solely nation to buck that development is Greece, who famously shocked the continent in 2004 with arguably the most important anomaly in worldwide soccer history.
Prior to that match in Portugal, the Greeks had been priced at 150-1 to elevate the trophy having by no means received a single match at a serious finals.
Applying this standards sees Croatia, Poland, Switzerland and Ukraine fall by the wayside, leaving us with two well-fancied nations for the ultimate showdown.
Provide plenty of Champions League gamers
To lastly settle this we drew on a heavyweight standards.
All 10 winners of main tournaments up to now this century – World Cups and European Championships – have been within the high 5 highest nations for variety of beginning gamers within the earlier season’s Champions League.
For instance, for the final Euros in 2016, Portugal had been ranked fifth on this, offering 27 beginning gamers for the 2015-16 Champions League. World Cup 2018 winners France had 49 gamers within the 2017-18 Champions League – the third most.
The individuals at Nielsen’s Gracenote have crunched the numbers and found that the highest 5 nations offering gamers for the 2020-21 Champions League had been France (63 starters), Brazil (58), Spain (51), Germany (38) and Ukraine (32). Belgium had been ranked 12th with 18.
And so, in spite of everything that analysis and whittling down, our largely unscientific methodology has predicted that World Cup winners and pre-tournament favourites France will win Euro 2020!
Graphics offered by Jonny Sodah.