blog address: http://www.golden-goals.com/euro-2016
blog details: This European Championship promises loads of exciting matchups and we can’t wait to see who comes out on top. Looking on as Leicester City lifted the Premier League trophy has been a huge confidence booster for underdogs who now firmly believe that they can win major trophies if they play with discipline and show character on the field. The excitement of Club football is sure to spill over into the Euros as we see our favourite stars take the field when the tournament kicks off at the Stade de France on the 10th of June.
England continues its trend of looking like the strongest team on paper, but unlike yesteryears, this team is based on solid foundation of young talent. With the likes of 20-year old Dele Alli, 21-year old Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Jack Wilshere manning the front, the English team looks surprisingly young and exciting to watch. What Roy Hodgson must remain aware of, is the defence, that has seemed scrappy at best and prone to misfiring. The lack of major silverware could also hamper English chances of getting through the home stretch of the tournament. Portugal under coach Fernando Santos look to be a determined lot, putting up great defensive displays and not losing a single qualifying match under the new coach. The talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo is still in his prime even though Portugal are not the side they used to be when they made the finals only to lose out to Greece in 2004. But if their showing in pre-Euro friendlies was any indication, the team is not one to go down without a fight. Special mention to 40-something Ricardo Carvalho, who is back on international duty and put on a gritty display in the last friendly against England.
Hosts France must capitalize on the home ground advantage and a side that boasts of sensational players coming off excellent seasons with their respective clubs. While youngster Paul Pogba remains the highlight, don’t forget to watch out for Premier League sensations N’golo Kante and Dimitri Payet are sure to bring their A-game after leading their clubs to great success in the Premier League. Add to that the striking prowess of Oliver Giroud and Antoine Griezmann and you know France could very well take the trophy home this time around. Amidst calls of the end of an era, Spain look to regain some lost glory after a forgettable showing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Veterans Andre Iniesta, ‘keeper Iker Casillas take the field amidst rumours of international retirement. But you can never count the tiki taka players out, especially when striker Alvaro Morata, defenders Juanfran and Hector Bellerin and midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Koke are coming off great seasons with their respective clubs. Expect some veteran action from Cesc Fabregas as well.
We do expect some of the lesser known teams to make a mark though. Slovakia is led by the experienced Martin Skrtel and Marek Hamsik could really weave some magic in the midfield. Switzerland will be anchored by the promising Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri. Wales could come out all guns blazing under captain Gareth Bale’s guidance. The Euros have a lot to live up to this time around.
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