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What’s in Store in the Euros 2020?

The final stages of the Euros will run from mid-June to mid-July. The competition will be held across different European countries, marking a first for this renowned football tournament. With changes afoot for the Euros, we’ve picked out some of the highlights of what to expect in 2020. 

Multiple Locations

To mark sixty years since the first European Championship finals were held, there will be games played in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia and Romania, to name just a few. This means that players and fans alike will be clocking up their air miles in order to catch the tournament as it unfolds. However, the semi-finals and finals will be held at Wembley Stadium in London, which could wind up giving an advantage to the English side if they make it that far in the competition. 

The Play Offs

16 teams will battle it out for the four remaining places in the competition in March, in the new look play-offs. Eight semi-finals will be held on 26th march and four finals will take place five days later. By the end of March, we will know who the 24 finalists are, as well as the group fixtures. 

In the play-off semi-finals, the following teams will play each other: 

Path A: Bulgaria v Hungary; Iceland v Romania
Path B: Bosnia and Herzegovina v Northern Ireland; Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
Path C: Norway v Serbia; Scotland v Israel
Path D: Georgia v Belarus; North Macedonia v Kosovo

While there have been play-offs in five of the last six Euros, beginning with a one-off match between the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands back in 1996, the 2020 Euros have a very different format. For the first time in the competition’s history, teams need to come through more than one round and the sides have to have qualified to participate via the UEFA Nationals League rather than the European Qualifiers, which is unlike any previous seasons. 

Ones to Watch

For Gareth Southgate, England boss, the Euros pose a potential first-ever European Championship win. Despite being backed by the bookies though, England won’t have it all their own way and there are plenty of other worthy contenders who are in with a real shot of lifting the trophy. England are grouped with Croatia, Czech Republic and one more opponent which will be determined via the play-offs, so they have their work cut out for them. Portugal, France and Germany are all potential candidates for the 2020 win, while Spain, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands are all considered major challengers. The Euros are unpredictable, as previous years have shown us, so there is plenty of room for upsets yet to come. Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are all keen to join through the play-offs too, so time will tell how this season’s competition pans out. One thing is for sure, the games leading up to the final are guaranteed to be exhilarating to watch and it's safe to say football betting sites will be busy. 

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