England begins its campaign by facing Serbia

Written By Mark

England begins its European Cup campaign as the candidate to win the first continental title in its history, when it meets Serbia today in Gelsenkirchen, while injuries weigh on the confrontation between the Netherlands and Poland in Hamburg. As England searches for the second major title in its history, after the 1966 World Cup on its home soil, it appears to be a strong candidate despite coach Gareth Southgate’s men being content with just one win in the last five friendly matches, including a loss to Iceland on home soil 0-1 and a draw with humble North Macedonia 1-1. .
Despite this, the “Three Lions” team appears to be a candidate to qualify for the quarter-finals from a third group that also includes Slovenia and Denmark, who meet on the same day in Stuttgart.
However, the Serbian national team will not be an easy prey, and will try to take advantage of the lack of stability in Southgate’s defense line, which paid the price for injuries. Serbia, which is facing England for the first time since it became an independent country, is distinguished by its headers, which accounted for a third of its 15 goals in the qualifiers.
England’s defensive confusion is compensated for by a powerful attacking line led by Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka, who have scored a combined 114 goals this season.
This will likely be the last chance for Southgate, who has a good record in major tournaments, as he lost the final of the last edition on penalties to Italy, and was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar with great difficulty against France 1-2.

Denmark to surpass Slovenia

Denmark, the 1992 champion with a major surprise, appears to be a candidate to skip Slovenia participating again after the 2000 edition, when it was eliminated early without winning. In six matches between them, Denmark won five times and tied once in the qualifiers for the current edition.
There were mixed emotions in Denmark’s recent European Cup campaign. After a heart attack that nearly claimed the life of its playmaker Christian Eriksen, the Scandinavian team reached the semi-finals, before losing in extra time to England in London. Slovenia, whose coach Matiaj Kek is satisfied with the fact that it is the team not favored to win, is counting on Atletico Madrid’s Spanish goalkeeper Jan Oblak and the talented German Leipzig striker Benjamin Shishko.

A good start for Switzerland, beating Hungary by three

Switzerland made a good start in the European Football Cup by defeating Hungary 3-1 in Cologne, at the end of the first round of Group A, and joined host Germany, which crushed Scotland 5-1 in the opener.
The winner’s goals were scored by Kwadwo Duah (12), Michel Abisher (45) and Beryl Embolo (90+3), while Barnabash Varga (66) scored Hungary’s goal.
Switzerland raised its score to three points, on goal difference behind Germany, which produced a distinguished performance against Scotland on Friday in Munich.
Switzerland, led by veteran midfield star Granit Xhaka, came a long way towards victory in the first half, as it dominated possession and chances, scoring two goals.
While Hungary closed the gap midway through the second half, the return from Embolo’s injury ended their hopes in the fatal time (90+3).
In its third consecutive participation in the continental tournament, Switzerland is looking forward to repeating the achievement of the last edition when it reached the quarter-finals and was eliminated on penalties against Spain, after defeating France at the final price on penalties as well.
Switzerland will meet Scotland next Wednesday at the same stadium, while Hungary will play a difficult match against Germany in Stuttgart on the same day.

Netherlands collides with Poland

In the fourth group, the Netherlands, burdened by injuries, begins its campaign against Poland, hoping to build on its promising performance in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after years of suffering.
The “Orange” team failed to qualify for the 2016 European Cup and the 2018 World Cup, before a disappointing exit from the quarter-finals of the last edition of the continental championship in the summer of 2021 against the Czech Republic.
But the Netherlands, under the supervision of Louis van Gaal, reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup two years ago, when they lost on penalties to Argentina, which won the title.
Ronald Koeman took over as coach of the national team again, after a fruitless period he spent with Barcelona.
The Netherlands will be hoping for a strong performance in Germany, after qualifying easily despite two defeats to France in the qualifiers.
But the “orange” midfield suffered a series of injuries, as playmaker Frankie de Jong, Ton Koopmeiners and Martin de Roon were forced to withdraw from the squad.
Therefore, it is expected that the experienced Georginio Wijnaldum will be an influential element in the team, and he will be assisted in this regard by Liverpool’s English player, Rein Kravenberg.
On the other hand, Poland is missing its top scorer, Robert Lewandowski, who suffered a muscle injury a few days ago, but coach Michal Brobiersch revealed that Barcelona’s top scorer, 35 years old, will likely be ready to face Austria in the second round.

Gamal is the youngest player in the history of the tournament

Spanish winger Lamine Jamal has become the youngest player to participate in a match in the European Cup finals currently being held in Germany, after coach Luis de la Fuente chose him as a starter to participate against Croatia.
Jamal, who shined for Barcelona last season, is 16 years and 338 days old, after the previous record was held by Poland’s Katzper Kozlowski, who played in the 2000 finals at the age of 17 years and 246 days.