Football Features

How every major nation could line up at Euro 2020

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 13:45, 20 March 2019

This international break sees the beginning of the road to Euro 2020.

Next year’s showpiece will take place all across Europe, with 12 cities splitting the hosting duties between them. Each city will host three group stage games and then some knockout rounds too. This could be a truly memorable tournament based on that structure alone, but the teams on the field should be thrilling to watch as well.

Assuming the top sides all qualify, 2020 will have a whole host of incredible talent that includes both the World and European Champions. The real question is how these major UEFA nations could line up come Euro 2020? We’ve had a look.

How will Portugal line up at Euro 2020?

We start with the European Champions; and they will look to be much more provocative and proactive. Pepe will anchor defence next to the young Ruben Dias. Joao Cancelo will be a relentless force up the right-flank. William Carvalho will hold midfield and allow Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho to bring their dynamic Wolves partnership to the international stage. In attack, Cristiano Ronaldo is the main goalscorer in the middle with Goncalo Guedes the dynamic dribbler on the left and Bernardo Silva the creative hub of the side roaming from the right.

How will Germany line up at Euro 2020?

The Germans have dedicated themselves to a new era, with just Toni Kroos and Manuel Neuer as holdovers from the 2014 World Cup win. There’s any number of ways Die Mannschaft could line-up, but a hyper-dynamic 3-4-2-1 would be amazing for them. With a rock solid defensive unit built around Antonio Rudiger and Niklas Sule, Toni Kroos is then freed in the middle of the park to pass himself silly. Out wide Joshua Kimmicha and Leroy Sané provide the bulk of the side’s width and creativity, with Kai Havertz and Marcos Reus supporting the electric Timo Werner (who should be a Bayern player by then) in attack.

How will France line up at Euro 2020?

The World Champions are not likely to change too much between now and 2020. In fact they will probably line up with 10 of the 11 players that started the World Cup final. The only change will likely see Kylian Mbappé moved to lead the line while Ousmane Dembélé comes into the XI. Both youngsters are absurdly talented and should have pretty colossal club campaigns in 19/20 to solidify their places ahead of a handsome but increasingly peripheral Olivier Giroud. Even Deschamps will have to acknowledge a slight change is needed.

How will England line up at Euro 2020?

England will build on the promise of their 2018 World Cup with a more mature side built on the bones of the Russia team. A switch to four at the back will provide more tempo control in the middle with ball players like Declan Rice and Harry Winks. Out wide Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling will provide the dynamism in attack whilst Spurs duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli rack up the goals.

How will the Netherlands line up at Euro 2020?

The Dutch are back in a big bad way. Ronald Koeman has turned the Oranje into a smooth and silky side again. With Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt dominating defence, Frenkie de Jong will run a midfield that controls possession and tempo alongside Georginio Wijnaldum with Donny van de Beek providing a hefty dose of vertical energy. In attack Memphis is the roaming “false nine” whilst Quincy Promes and Steven Bergwijn are the fast and furious wing-forwards.

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How will Belgium line up at Euro 2020?

The Red Devils won’t have changed much at all from their very impressive 2018 World Cup campaign. Jason Denayer will replace Vincent Kompany in defence with Leander Dendoncker sidling into midfield to add solidity alongside Axel Witsel. Besides that they will be the same, playing fast and hard to get the ball to Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard in attack.

How will Spain line up at Euro 2020?

Spain will still be looking to make a comeback after their terrible trio of tournaments followed up their terrific one. They won’t want to have been bad for longer than they were great, and Luis Enrique will still have plenty of talent at his disposal come 2020 but unless someone elite emerges in attack and the centre of defence (how badly they will miss Gerard Piqué and David Villa) they could find themselves struggling.

How will Croatia line up at Euro 2020?

Croatia’s heroic effort to reach the 2018 World Cup final felt like the end of the road for an incredible, largely veteran side – but the core of it has stuck around and will again feature in 2020. Big changes are Lovre Kalinic in goal, Tin Jedvaj’s emergence at left-back and Ante Rebic replacing Mario Mandzukic as the lead forward. This feels like a bridge too far.

How will Italy line up at Euro 2020?

The Italians were sorely missed at the 2018 World Cup and they will roar back onto the scene at Euro 2020. Gianluigi Donnarumma will be the first goalkeeper other than Gianluigi Buffon or Francesco Toldo to keep goal for Italy at a major tournament since 1994. 1994! That’s the year Federico Bernadeschi was born! Speaking of, Bernadeschi would be the ace up the sleeve for Roberto Mancini, a powerful creative player who can score goals too. Ciro Immobile will no doubt be handed the starting no. 9 role but don’t be surprised if young Federico Chiesa snatches it from him mid-tournament. Their midfield of Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Nico Barella should be a joy to watch, and their ability to keep possession will greatly aid the ageing centre-back duo of Bonucci and Chiellini.

How will Switzerland line up at Euro 2020?

Switzerland are perennial dark horses for everything they do, and whilst their team isn’t quite as fashionable as others they are sneaky talented. Manuel Akanji and Fabian Schar has the makes of a very solid centre-back duo whilst Denis Zakaria should be a superb shield for pass-master Granit Xhaka. In attack Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri will conduct proceedings whilst Haris Seferovic will look to replicate his Nations League heroics.