European Championship Group D - Teams & Odds Analysis

European Championship Group D - Teams & Odds Analysis

A controversial European Championship Group D this time. England and Scotland as neighbours in the same group. By the odds, two big favourites to qualify and then two equal teams.
England is also the big top 3 favourite to win the tournament, and expectations are sky-high. Is it coming home this time?

European Championship Group D - England

Round of 16 in their last Euros and quarterfinals before this. Showed some great football during the WC and finally finished the tournament with fourth place, which was a disappointment to many.
Although, the last time so close to lifting the major tournament trophy was in 1990. World champions in 1966.
Had 2 games against the fellow top favourite in this tournament, Belgium. Win at home and a loss in Belgium. 
Squad value is enormous 960m and FIFA ranking is 4th place at the moment. Favourite of the European Championship Group D.

Potential squad

They could literally line up two different teams from players playing in the top 3 leagues in the world. A huge majority of the players in the squad are, of course playing in the Premier League.
I feel for the coach Gareth Southgate, it's a hard job to pick out who's coming and who will be left out because there are so many superb players.

Goalkeepers - Nick Pope was the goalkeeper in their recent three games. 29 years old and plays in Premier League for Burnley. 99.5% sure that he will move to the top 5 clubs in the league after the summer. 
Dean Henderson is pushing hard for the starter role, plays for Manchester United and have pushed De Gea to the bench in league games. 24 years old and for sure the future number one for the England team.
Both lack international games experience, but overall the strongest duo of goalkeepers in the competition.

Defenders - England team could line up the defensive line from players who will play in the Champions League and Europa League finals. That says a lot.
Kyle Walker from Manchester City is the most experienced with 55 games. Trent Alexander-Arnold has only 12 games and is 22 years old but has already achieved a lot in Premier League and Champions League.
Ben Chilwell from Chelsea has had a breakout season for the top club. He plays in the Champions League final and, for me, the best in his position in the Premier League at the moment.
John Stones and Harry Maguire should form the centre backs pair. Over 30 games for both for the national team and playing for Manchester City and Manchester United.
I would say that Luke Shaw has had one of the strongest seasons personally for Manchester United. 9 games for England, but there has also been a big competition for the position.
Kieran Trippier is the only player outside of Premier League and plays for Athletico Madrid. Pushing for the La Liga title in Spain, and that shows the high quality also.

Midfielders - The midfield has some of the most significant question marks for me. Declan Rice has had a superb season for West Ham (15 games and 22 years old), Phil Foden is a future star player for sure, plays for Manchester City and in Champions League final where the showed very promising and mature game (6 games and 20 years old).
Kalvin Phillips has been great for Leeds in his first Premier League season (7 games and 25 years old) and Mason Mount for Chelsea with a superb season and a ticket in the Champions League final (16 games, 4 goals, 22 years old).
Jesse Lingard, with 27 games, is basically the most experienced midfielder (West Ham), and he was already considered a flop in Manu after moving to West Ham for this season. ) 9 goals in 13 games and back in the business.

The most experienced is Jordan Henderson from Liverpool, of course. 58 games and have to be added to this young midfield as a tutor at least.
James Ward-Prowse from Southampton has only 6 games but a breakout season in Premier League with 8 goals.
Jack Grealish has been injured for some time now but will earn a move to top 4 clubs for sure during the summer after a tremendous season for Aston Villa.
Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham are also considered of course, but once again, only 6 games combined and both are under 20 years old.

Attackers - Harry Kane with 34 goals in 53 games, will be the number goal threat in this team. 21 goals for the Spurs this season and his seventh season in Premier League with at least 17 goals per season.
Raheem Sterling place is guaranteed. 14 goals in 61 games and 10 goals for Manchester City this season.
He dropped from 20 goals last season, but this due to forced rotations and a deep squad.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has 4 goals in 7 games but has had two solid seasons for Everton with 16 and 13 goals.
Backups are also strong scorers in Premier League. Ollie Watkins (13 goals), Tammy Abraham from Chelsea (6 goals), Marcus Rahsford from Manu and Danny Ings from Southampton.
Last but not least, Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund with 25 goals combined during the last 2 seasons in Bundesliga.

Overall expectation

The favourite of the European Championship Group D, one of the favourites to win the whole competition. Rightly so. The squad has players from the top 3 leagues in the world and most of them are starters.
The only question mark for me is the experience at the international level and the fairly young midfield. 
On the positive side, despite their young age, a core has had some big games in the Champions League and Europa League this season, and none of them has failed to deliver on one of the biggest stages.
These Euros will be like an exam for them, and if they fail, there's always the next Euros and also World Cups coming in. They are still very young and will have 3-4 more shots for sure.

European Championship Group D - Croatia

Croatia's squad value is around 315m, and the FIFA rank is 14. According to the odds, they are the 2nd favourite to win this group before England and in front of Czech and Scotland.
Odds of 1.3 to qualify, and these seem to be fair odds. Croatia dropped out in the Round of 16 in the previous Euros but made a storm during the last World Cup final tournament.

They played in the finals against France and lost 4-2. On the road, they beat England, Russia and Denmark. All three playoff games went overtime, and there was no gas for the finals.
Nonetheless, a superb effort. They have lost against 2 top candidates in their recent games.  Bigger wins are against Sweden and Switzerland.

Potential squad

There have been some extraordinary players from Croatia in every generation. The problem for them is that there's always like 5-6 top-level players, but no depth in the squad compared with Germany, France, Spain or England.
Ivan Rakitic retired and was an influential player during the World Cup run. Corluka and Mario Mandzukic also retired before the World Cup. Is there someone able to step into their shoes?

Goalkeepers - Dominic Livakovic and Lovre Kalinic are the main goalkeepers, both with 19 games and playing in Croatia local league.

Defenders - There are three more experienced defenders with over 45 games for the team. Sime Vrsaljko plays for Athletico Madrid and has 47 games for the team.
Only 14 games during the last two seasons, but still a key player for Croatia. Dejan Lovren has 64 games for the team and plays in Zenit.
He joined the Russian club from Liverpool, where he was an important player for several seasons. Domagoj Vida plays for Besiktas and has 86 games for Croatia.

Also, three younger generation defenders are stepping up in higher leagues. Duje Caleta-Car in Marseilles, Marin Pongracic in Wolfsburg and Tin Jedvaj in Bayer Leverkusen. Domagoj Bradaric decided to stay in the U21 team.

Midfielders - In the midfield, they have 5-6 players playing at the highest level football in their clubs. 3-4 of them could play in any other team in this competition. Where's the issue then?
None of them is the scorers in their clubs. Modric has 17 goals for Croatia, 18 for Real Madrid since 2012. Mateo Kovacic has 3 for Croatia, 7 goals for Inter, Real Madrid and Chelsea since 2012.
Marcelo Brozovic has 5 for Croatia and 19 for Inter since 2014. Milan Badelj has 2 goals for Croatia and 9 goals in Serie A since 2014.
These players are more like creators, passers, building up the plays, supporting the defence kind of players.

26 years old Mario Pasalic from Atalanta has been on target more than then the rest of the guys combined. 18 goals in his last three seasons in Serie A.
Marko Rog plays in Cagliari and hopes to assure that the team stays there for another season.

Attackers - Luckily for the team, Andrej Kramaric and Ante Budimir have not been so goal-shy for their teams. Kramaric has 14 for Croatia and 18 goals in Bundesliga for Hoffenheim this season.
Last 5 seasons with at least 12 goals. Ante Budimir have 10 goals in his debut season in Spain for Osasuna. Have had a 13 goal season with Mallorca 2 seasons ago.
Ivan Perisic has been a reliable goal threat with 27 goals and currently playing for Italian champions Inter.
Ante Rebic has had 19 goals with two seasons for AC Milan and Josip Brekalo (22 years old) had a breakout season with Wolfsburg with 7 goals so far.

Miroslav Orsic plays for Dinamo Zagreb and has 16 goals in the Croatia league. Well, yes, in Croatia...but he scored a hat-trick against Spurs in the Europa League to kick them out from the competition:)

Overall expectation

Can they qualify from the European Championship Group D? Yes, this should be the minimum target at least. If they go as the 2nd team they will meet the runner up from group E and this should be Sweden or maybe Poland?
Both teams should be pushed aside and then they will meet a team from Group F and any team from this group at this stage should be too much for them.



European Championship Group D - Scotland

The outsider of the European Championship Group D. Is this justified for me? No. Scotland has beaten the Czech Republic twice during the 2020 season in Nations League.
Scotland plays all their group games at home in Glasgow, and now they are priced higher than Czech? 44th place in the FIFA ranking and squad value is 224m.
The last time they played in any major tournament was in 1998.


Potential squad

99% of the squad players are from England Premier League and local Scotland League. At first sight, there are two really top-class players, 3-4 decent level players, and then many fringe players.
I mean, when comparing against teams like France, Spain and England. I don't want to understand how they are under the Czech Republic still in this European Championship Group D.

Goalkeepers - Craig Gordon and David Marshall have been the main goalkeepers with 56 and 43 games. The first of them is 38, and the second is 36 years old. Clubs are Hearts of Midlothian and Derby County.

Defenders - For me, the best 2 players are unfortunately playing the same position—Andrew Robertson from Liverpool and Kieran Tierney from Arsenal.
Tierney has also been playing in the midfield for Scotland or as a centre back. You can't hold one of them on the bench because they are playing in the same position in their home club. 
Liam Cooper plays for Leeds and back in the Premier League, several seasons in the Championship. Grant Hanley has been in Premier League and Championship with Norwich for years.
Scott McKenna has a debut season in Championship with Nottingham. On the paper, this defence is behind the top clubs in this competition but ahead of the majority of teams.

Midfielders - John McGinn has the most goals in the squad, 10. These are bad news when your top scorer is a midfielder with only 10 goals.
He plays in Aston Villa for the 2nd season as the main player in the Premier League. Stuart Armstrong has been an integral player for Southampton for three seasons.
24 years old Scott McTominay have a great season with Manu, 31 games and 4 goals. Kenny McLean from Norwich and Callum McGregor from Celtic are also considered as core players.

Attackers - The Celtic legend James Forrest has had 5 goals for the team as the current highest scorer as a striker. Ryan Fraser from Newcastle may take this title during the Euros.
He was on fire 3 seasons ago for Bournemouth in Premier League. Oliver McBurnie and Oliver Burke have been shy in front of the goal this season, with only 1 goal for Sheffield United. 
Another threat for James Forrest is, of course, Che Adams from Southampton. 8 goals this season already in 34 games and should be in good form.

Overall expectation

With strong defence and Che Adams continuing his good form for Scotland I can see them qualifying from the European Championship Group D.

European Championship Group D - Czech Republic

With a squad value of around 144m and FIFA ranking of 40th place, they should be close to qualifying from the European Championship Group D, but for this, they need to beat Scotland for sure.
The last time they played in WC final tournament was in 2006. In the previous European Championship, they finished the tournament in the group stage.

Potential squad

8 players in the squad playing in the top leagues at the moment. Not too bad if you ask me, there have been much worse scenarios.
No players close to Jan Koller,Pavel Nedved, Milan Baros, Patrik Berger, Petr Cech or Tomas Rosicky and Karel Poborsky at this moment.

Goalkeepers - Tomas Vaclik is the most experienced goalkeeper at the moment with 36 games but has lost the number one place in Sevilla this season.
For this reason, I would expect Jiri Pavlenka from Werder Bremen as the main man in the goal. 4 seasons in Bundesliga should prove there's quality.
Or Tomas Koubek, the main goalkeeper for Augsburg and was the main goalkeeper for Rennes 2 seasons?

Defenders - Vladimir Coufal from West Ham should be the main force in defence. Debut season in Premier League and a huge leap from Slavia Prague to Premier League.
Ales Mateju plays in Italy Serie B this season but got his chance in Serie A last season. Pavel Kaderabek has been the starter for Hoffenheim for several seasons in German Bundesliga.
Tomas Kalas has several seasons in England Championship for Bristol City and Fulham.

Midfielders - Vladimir Darida from Hertha Berlin is the current captain. 8 seasons in German Bundesliga as the main player in the team and deserved.
Tomas Soucek has had a superb season for West Ham United. 9 goals this season and a very versatile player, a force in this midfield. 
Jakub Jankto is having a great season in Italy Serie A for Sampdoria. With 6 goals in 32 games and his 6th season in the league.
Antonin Barak is having an interesting season, also in Serie A for Verona. 7 goals this season while he has had only 2 goals during the 3 seasons period before this.

Attackers - If Patrick Schick is not the main goal threat in this team, I don't know what to believe in anymore. 9 goals in 27 games in Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen.
Vaclav Cerny will support him, plays for Twente. 6 goals this season in the Netherlands league.
Matej Vidra has only 3 goals this season but plays in English Premier League for Burnley, so we should add some kind of coefficient to compare the goals between him and Cerny.

Overall expectation

If they get through from the European Championship Group D, it should be considered as a successful competition already.
Do I think that they should be favoured ahead of Scotland? No.


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