CHRIS SUTTON'S GUIDE TO THE GROUPS: From France to North Macedonia, all 24 countries in Euro 2020

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The preparations are done, the wallcharts have been pinned up and the office sweepstakes have been drawn. In just a few hours Euro 2020 will be underway.

For supporters, an expanded competition involving 24 teams can be a daunting prospect when weighing up all the countries on show ahead of what will surely be an engrossing tournament.

Thankfully, Sportsmail's Chris Sutton has provided the lowdown on every country participating in this summer's competition, profiling each team's manager, their star player and how they are expected to fare.  

The Euros are almost here and Sportsmail's Chris Sutton gives the lowdown on all the groups

Group A 

Wales 

FIFA ranking: 17th; Odds: 150-1; Euros best: Semi-final (2016) 

The boss: Robert Page

Page has been deputising for Ryan Giggs for more than half a year now so the situation facing Wales isn't like when Spain dumped Julen Lopetegui and appointed Fernando Hierro as interim boss two days before the 2018 World Cup. 

Hopefully, having had time to get used to being his national team's No 1 rather than a No 2, Page can guide his team out of Group A. 

It might be a daunting prospect for the 46-year-old caretaker but given the circumstances he can only go and give it his all in this tournament. He's got the talent at his disposal to do well. 

The Star: Gareth Bale

'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.' That's what that infamous banner said after Bale and his team-mates qualified for these Euros. 

Bale is the first name on Page's team sheet, easily. On what was likely his last appearance in a Tottenham shirt and perhaps his final game in the Premier League, Bale came off the bench to score twice against Leicester. 

He turns 32 next month but is still capable of turning on the magic. At Euro 2016, Bale scored in every group game as Wales made it all the way to the semi-finals. Page will be saying: 'Same again, please!'

Gareth Bale is the first name on Robert Page's team-sheet and he is still capable of magic

Sutton's verdict

Giggs' court case is casting a significant shadow over the side. You can only hope all of that background noise doesn't prove too much of a distraction for the players.

With Aaron Ramsey, Daniel James and Co, Wales have enough talent to make it to the knockout stages. 

Whatever motivation Bale supposedly lacks in representing Real Madrid, he makes up for when in that Wales shirt.

If he can turn it on, then Wales can enjoy another exciting Euros.

Italy

FIFA ranking: 7th; Odds 9-1; Euros best winners (1968) 

The boss: Roberto Mancini

Appointed after the Italians surprisingly failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. That proved a shrewd move because Mancini has since delivered the best ever win rate of any Italy coach.

It's no wonder the federation handed him a new deal — which lasts until 2026 — on the eve of these Euros. They sense something exciting is happening with him in charge. 

And the former Manchester City boss is experienced and ambitious enough to take this squad all the way.

In Italy they sense something special is happening under former City boss Roberto Mancini

The star: Ciro Immobile

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 31 goals for Juventus in 2019-20 but still didn't win Serie A's Golden Boot — because Immobile helped himself to 36 for Lazio. 

The striker has just finished the 2020-21 season by scoring 20 times, making him the top-scoring Italian in their league last season. 

There will be an Italia '90 vibe to their games with all three of Italy's group matches being played at Rome's Stadio Olimpico — Lazio's stadium — so Immobile, 31, will feel right at home. If he has a golden month, Italy could take some stopping.

Sutton's verdict

They boast big names all over the field, from Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in defence to Jorginho and Marco Verratti in midfield and Lorenzo Insigne and Immobile in attack. 

Has Mancini's 4-3-3 been properly tested yet? Italy have enjoyed a long unbeaten run, and won all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying matches, but they've faced some, shall we say, favourable opponents. Now comes the real test. 

Turkey 

FIFA ranking: 29th; Odds 50-1; Euros best: Semi-final (2008)

The boss: Senol Gunes

This 69-year-old was in charge of Turkey at the 2002 World Cup, where they went all the way to the semi-finals before losing to eventual champions Brazil. 

It won't be easy to get out of a tricky-looking group but one thing is certain when it comes to Turkey — they'll make themselves difficult to beat.

The star: Caglar Soyuncu

Defence will be key if Turkey are to make it out of this group. One face that Premier League viewers will recognise is Soyuncu of Leicester. 

He ended the season in good form and Turkey will hope he carries this on to be their rock at the back. He will be vital if they are to reach the knockout stages.

Leicester's Caglar Soyuncu ended the season strongly and will be vital to Turkey's chances

Sutton's verdict

Turkey conceded just three goals in qualifying and kept eight clean sheets. 

That proves their game is built on a highly-organised defensive unit but they'll need their forwards to deliver if they are to progress and Burak Yilmaz will be key to their chances. 

The 35-year-old was Lille's top scorer en route to winning the Ligue 1 title last season and will be a key player.

Switzerland

FIFA ranking: 13th; Odds 80-1; Euros best: Last 16 (2016) 

The boss: Vladimir Petkovic 

Manager of Switzerland since 2014. They got out of their group at Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. 

Petkovic isn't one for making up the numbers. Their opening game against Wales in Baku is a big one — both crave a good start.

The star: Xherdan Shaqiri

One start for his club since February is not great news for his country. A lack of match practice means Liverpool's little left-footer may not be at the peak of his powers. 

Xherdan Shaqiri has not featured much for Liverpool and will relish playing as a No 10

But after spending most of the last season warming the bench, he will relish playing at No 10 and in a team where he has responsibilities.

Sutton's verdict

Fabian Schar is likely to start in the heart of a back three but he missed a big chunk of the season for Newcastle. 

He made a comeback as a substitute last month — but was sent off. Like Shaqiri not featuring for Liverpool, that isn't ideal. Rustiness can cost you at a tournament like this. 

Group B 

Belgium

FIFA ranking: 1st; Odds 6-1; Euros best: Runners-up (1980)

The boss: Roberto Martinez

Martinez's Belgium qualified for these Euros with ease. They won 10 out of 10, scored 40 and conceded only three. Naturally they are one of the favourites to win the tournament. 

Martinez has rehired Thierry Henry, removing him from his BBC punditry duties and putting him back on his coaching staff. Henry will be working closely with Eden Hazard, I'm sure. 

Hazard won the Silver Ball at the 2018 World Cup and Martinez would love him to recapture that form after a couple of underwhelming seasons at Real Madrid.

The star: Kevin de Bruyne

There is no shortage of stars in this Belgian squad — but even the stars look up to De Bruyne. The Manchester City midfielder is magic. 

You can imagine Martinez feared the worst when his talisman suffered those facial fractures in the Champions League final against Chelsea. 

Thankfully, he is set to play — which is great news for Belgium and bad news for everybody else. I wouldn't be surprised if Romelu Lukaku pushes for the Golden Boot with the chances De Bruyne creates for him. One of the best in Europe.

In a team full of stars, Kevin de Bruyne is the standout name for Roberto Martinez's Belgium

Sutton's verdict

Belgium are a team dripping with Premier League experience and we'll enjoy watching them. Martinez has spoken about how his big challenge has been to take this collection of incredibly talented individuals and turn them into a group. 

They endured a Euro 2016 to forget as they lost to Wales at the quarter-final stage. Then they were the 2018 World Cup's top scorers but lost to eventual champions France in the semi-finals — although they did beat England twice in Russia! 

Don't be surprised if Belgium make the final this time.

Denmark 

FIFA ranking: 10th; Odds 28-1; Euros best: Winners (1992) 

The boss: Kasper Hjulmand

Hjulmand was originally supposed to be watching Euro 2020 unfold from home as Age Hareide led Denmark at this tournament. But then the pandemic postponed everything by a year, Hareide's contract expired, and so Hjulmand took charge. 

He's aiming to take inspiration from 1992, when Denmark were called up as late replacements for Yugoslavia and ended up winning the whole thing.

The star: Kasper Schmeichel

I could easily have named Denmark's chief creator Christian Eriksen, who's just won the Serie A title with Inter Milan. Or their influential captain Simon Kjaer, who's a warrior and is likely to partner Andreas Christensen at the back.

Kasper Schmeichel's leadership will be vital for Denmark if they want to emulate 1992 glory

But Schmeichel is just so vital. He's the leader from Leicester who demands 100 per cent from every one of his team-mates.

He doesn't mind telling you if you're not playing up to his high standards — and with his view from the back, he doesn't miss a thing. The FA Cup winner is my standout star of this Denmark side.

Sutton's verdict

As romantic as it would be, I doubt we'll see another victorious run like 1992 from Denmark.

There were only eight teams in that tournament, whereas there are 24 now and plenty of them are capable of defeating Hjulmand's team the deeper they get into the competition.

But can Denmark get out of Group B? Absolutely. And they should, too. 

Finland

FIFA ranking: 54th; Odds 500-1; Euros best: N/A (Debut)

The boss: Markku Kanerva

From school teacher to head coach of the national team and now he's about to lead them into their first major tournament. We all love an underdog story and Kanerva's Finland are the epitome of that.

The star: Teemu Pukki

Only England's Harry Kane, Israel's Eran Zahavi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scored more goals than Pukki in qualifying for these Euros. 

Teemu Pukki is among Europe's top international scorers ahead of their tournament debut

Norwich are back in the Premier League because of him, and Finland are gracing this tournament thanks to him, too — with Pukki now on the verge of breaking Finnish great Jari Litmanen's all-time goal record of 32 international goals. Pukki has 30.

Sutton's verdict

I'd be lying if I said I expected Finland to get out of Group B — but I'd be more than happy to see Pukki and his team-mates prove me wrong. 

They know they're punching above their weight to even be at this tournament but let's see if they can produce any knockout blows.

Russia  

FIFA ranking: 38th; Odds 100-1; Euros best: Winners (Soviet Union, 1960) 

The boss: Stanislav Cherchesov

Cherchesov's Russia gave a very good account of themselves on home soil at the 2018 World Cup. 

Now two of their three Euro 2020 group games are in St Petersburg so they can enjoy that home feeling all over again. Former keeper Cherchesov looks a safe pair of hands in charge of this team.

Stanislav Cherchesov helped inspire a strong World Cup campaign and will hope for the same

The star: Artem Dzyuba

Speaking of St Petersburg, the towering Zenit striker Dzyuba is the man Russia hope will continue to bang them in for them. 

Just last month, Dzyuba scored twice against Lokomotiv Moscow to seal a third successive Russian Premier League title. Dzyuba, who is a big lad at 6ft 5in, is on the verge of becoming his country's all-time top scorer.

Sutton's verdict

Russia would love to record another momentous win at this tournament and, as at the 2018 World Cup they hosted, could surprise us. Or not. 

Group C

Holland 

FIFA ranking: 16th; Odds 14-1; Euros best: Winners (1988)

The boss: Frank de Boer

He lasted 85 days as Inter Milan manager, 77 days at Crystal Palace and was then sacked by MLS side Atlanta. 

Now he's the man trusted to make Holland a competitive force again as they enter their first major tournament since 2014 after missing out on Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. 

So Holland and De Boer both have points to prove. The Dutch booked their ticket to Euro 2020 under Ronald Koeman before he left to take over at Barcelona but De Boer boasts a squad packed with promise. 

When appointed, he spoke about wanting to win 'in the most beautiful way'. Let's see what that looks like then Frank!

The star: Memphis Depay

Back in December 2019, Depay suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury and was told he wouldn't be fit for Euro 2020 that summer. After his six goals and seven assists in qualifying, that was a blow for him and Holland. 

Memphis Depay has moved on from his Man United nightmare and will be crucial for Holland

So having this tournament delayed by a year actually benefited the Dutch. They've got him available now. Whether down the middle or on the wing, Depay is his side's greatest weapon. 

That poor spell at Manchester United is forgotten as far as Depay is concerned and he has just enjoyed a 20-goal season for Lyon in Ligue 1 and should be considered one of the biggest threats this summer.

Sutton's verdict

Having no Virgil van Dijk is a killer for De Boer, especially after it looked like he might make it. But they do have Matthijs de Ligt, the 21-year-old Juventus centre back.

They've also got Stefan de Vrij, who has just helped Inter Milan secure the Serie A title with the best defensive record, and Ajax's Daley Blind. With that defence and this squad, Holland are genuine contenders. 

Ukraine 

FIFA ranking: 24th; Odds 100-1; Euros best: Group stage (2012/16)

The boss: Andriy Shevchenko

The former Chelsea striker was Ukraine's assistant five years ago when they finished bottom of their Euro 2016 group with three defeats from three games. 

He replaced manager Mykhaylo Fomenko after that awful tournament and will know the consequences if they flop again, especially in this group. 

Andriy Shevchenko will fancy Ukraine's chances, having beaten Portugal and Spain recently

Shevchenko will fancy their chances. They've beaten Portugal and Spain under him, and held France to a draw. This team has plenty of potential.

The star: Andriy Yarmolenko 

Shevchenko scored 48 goals in 111 games for Ukraine, making him their all-time top scorer. Yarmolenko is closing in on that tally, with 38 in 92. 

The bad news is the 31-year-old started only once for West Ham in the Premier League throughout 2020-21 as he struggled for fitness and form. 

The good news is if he's on the east London club's for-sale list this summer, he'll be determined to enjoy a good Euros and impress potential suitors.

Sutton's verdict

Ukraine got through qualifying unbeaten. This may be Shevchenko's first job in management but he clearly picked up a few pointers while playing under Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Co. 

After back-to-back group exits at Euro 2012 and Euro 2016, if Ukraine can get to the knockout stages that will constitute a success for Shevchenko in his first attempt. 

Austria  

FIFA ranking: 23rd; Odds 125-1; Euros best: Group stage (2008/16)

The boss: Franco Foda

Foda probably feared the worst after beginning qualification with defeats by Poland and Israel, but his players bounced back to make it to the competition proper. 

North Macedonia are their first opponents — and Austria beat them twice during qualifying. Foda is more of a defensive-minded coach but he will sense they can get off to a good start.

The star: David Alaba

Marko Arnautovic, the former West Ham forward, now of Shanghai Port, will be fun to watch. But Alaba is Austria's most high-profile player. 

David Alaba is the standout name for Austria and has just sealed a move to Real Madrid

The versatile 28-year-old has left Bayern Munich for Real Madrid this summer and is used to winning. He's the seven-time Austrian footballer of the year with elite experience.

Sutton's verdict

Austria were Euro 2008 co-hosts and qualified for Euro 2016 but are still waiting for their first win at the tournament. 

That could finally change this year. They've got some talented boys in their squad, such as RB Leipzig playmaker Marcel Sabitzer, and could be a surprise package.

North Macedonia  

FIFA ranking: 62nd; Odds 500-1; Euros best N/A (debut)

The boss: Igor Angelovski

Angelovski upset the odds by guiding North Macedonia to their first major tournament. The 45-year-old has described that as 'a dream' in itself. His next challenge is to try to ensure they give a good account of themselves.

The star: Goran Pandev

He turns 38 next month and made his international debut 20 years ago, but Pandev remains North Macedonia's most influential player. 

He has the most caps and goals in their history — and scored the historic winner in their play-off final against Georgia.

Goran Pandev turns 38 next month but continues to turn in fantastic displays for his country

Sutton's verdict

Look at the bookmakers' odds and right down at the very bottom you'll find North Macedonia. 

It would rival Leicester's Premier League title win for shock factor if they were to somehow win it (they won't) but I'm sure they'll enjoy the ride while it lasts. 

Leeds' Ezgjan Alioski will be familiar to Premier League fans and they could produce a shock in an open group.

Group D 

England 

FIFA ranking: 4th; Odds 5-1; Euros best Semi-final (3rd, 1968/1996)

The boss: Gareth Southgate

Southgate says anything less than a place in the semi-finals would be a failure and understands there is tremendous expectation on his shoulders because of how talented this England squad is. 

We all know how Euro 2016 ended, with that embarrassing defeat by Iceland, but five years on we are craving redemption. 

Southgate has made his difficult decisions and now we need to trust the 50-year-old's judgment. England's waistcoated wonder led us to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. 

Wembley awaits if Southgate can match that, and hopefully go one further to the final.

The star: Harry Kane

The captain, the leader and, if he can guide England to Euro 2020 glory, he'll become a legend. 

Harry Kane is tough to stop when in full flow and will be aiming for another Golden Boot

Kane finished as the 2018 World Cup's top scorer and he's just won his third Premier League Golden Boot. England's No 9 will be targeting another personal accolade at these Euros and his goals can carry this side to the end of this tournament. 

It's a big summer for Kane. It looks like he'll be leaving Tottenham. Maybe for Manchester City, so let's see how much of a rapport him, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden can build together.

Sutton's verdict

The sun was shining, plastic pint glasses were flying and there was a real feelgood factor en route to the 2018 World Cup's semi-finals. 

I predict Southgate's side will get to that same stage again and, touch wood, they will be walking out at Wembley on July 11 — save the date! — to play for the trophy.

After the testing time we've all endured since Covid took hold, what a summer celebration it would be if Southgate's England can win Euro 2020.

Scotland 

FIFA ranking: 44th; Odds 250-1; Euros best: Group stage (1992/96) 

The boss: Steve Clarke

Scotland fans: did you have any fingernails left? Clarke's side made it to Euro 2020 via the penalty spot. They beat Israel in a shootout then Serbia in another one to qualify via the play-offs. 

It was nerve-wracking but finally, after an agonising 23-year absence, Scotland are set to appear at a major tournament again. 

Clarke is an experienced coach capable of guiding the Scots out of this group. I played in Scotland, I know the passion, and Glasgow's Hampden Park will be rocking for their games against the Czech Republic and Croatia.

Steve Clarke is an experienced coach and is capable of getting Scotland out of the group

The star: John McGinn

McGinn can make things happen on the pitch. Off it, he's a big personality in the squad (supposedly he's the chief storyteller during the Scottish players' coffee club) and that's important. 

You need these guys who can create a good vibe among the group. The Aston Villa midfielder will relish the challenge of these Euros and he'll enjoy facing a few familiar faces from England, including club team-mate Jack Grealish.

Sutton's verdict

Scotland aren't going to these Euros to be target practice for other nations. They want to make their mark. 

They've got Kieran Tierney of Arsenal, Scott McTominay of Manchester United and Andy Robertson of Liverpool — top Premier League players.

Scotland have what it takes to get out of this group and ruffle a few feathers. Watch out England! 

Croatia

FIFA ranking: 14th odds; 33-1 Euros best: Quarter-final (1996, 2008) 

The boss: Zlatko Dalic

Dalic led Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final, where they lost 4-2 to France. He insists they are 'not in the first row of favourites' to win Euro 2020, such as France, Spain and Germany. 

That's true, but Dalic will still be dreaming big after their recent historic run.

The star: Luka Modric

Some senior players called time on their international careers after their last tournament, such as Mario Mandzukic, but Modric is still going in midfield. 

Luka Modric, 35, will make a nuisance of himself against England at Wembley on Sunday

He won the World Cup's Golden Ball as the tournament's best player three years ago. Expect to see this 35-year-old Ballon d'Or winner making himself a nuisance against England in the opening game.

Sutton's verdict

Croatia are no pushovers. As their manager says, they aren't one of the favourites to win Euro 2020, but they'll make sure you earn your victory against them. They believe in themselves as the tournament's dark horses. 

Czech Republic 

FIFA ranking: 40th; Odds 125-1; Euros best: Winners (Czechoslovakia, 1976) 

The boss: Jaroslav Silhavy

Silhavy's side were hit by a coronavirus outbreak in September before facing Scotland. 

The Scots won that meeting 2-1 and Silhavy, who later contracted Covid himself, denounced that defeat by saying the team he fielded 'wasn't us'. 

That tees up their Euro 2020 opener with Scotland nicely. The losers can have no excuses this time around.

Tomas Soucek had a great season for West Ham and will be a threat from set piece deliveries

The star: Tomas Soucek

West Ham 'won' the World Cup in 1966. Maybe they can have a say in Euro 2020, too, if Soucek and his team-mate Vladimir Coufal put in those warrior type performances we know they're capable of. 

Soucek enjoyed a stellar first full season in the Premier League and made a big impression. For a deep midfielder, he carries a real goal threat which rival coaches will have noted and, in Southgate's case, hopefully planned for!

Sutton's verdict

In qualifying for this tournament, England beat the Czechs 5-0 in London, then the Czechs beat England 2-1 in Prague. It's good news (for England) then that their final group game is at Wembley. 

Group E

Spain 

FIFA ranking: 6th; Odds 8-1; Euros best: Winners (1964, 2008, 2012)

The boss: Luis Enrique

Enrique's got some bottle, I'll give him that. He only named 24 players in his squad — and left out Spain's captain and most capped player Sergio Ramos! 

That means for the first time in a major tournament there will be no players from Real Madrid in the Spain squad. Enrique says his decision was down to question marks over Ramos's fitness and that this is 'best for the team'. 

Enrique is clearly confident in the squad he's selected but it's a risk regardless and a call which could come back to bite him on the backside.

The star: Alvaro Morata

He's got David Villa's old No 7 shirt and his country are looking to him to score the goals that take them deep into this competition.  

Luis Enrique has made the bold decision not to include a single Real Madrid star in his squad

Morata led the line for Spain at Euro 2016 but was then dropped for the 2018 World Cup after that doomed spell at Chelsea. 

He hit 20 goals for Juventus this season and will be a regular feature up front for Spain over the coming weeks. 

Morata has suffered from a lack of confidence in the past but an early goal or two at these Euros could do wonders for him.

Sutton's verdict

Tradition tells us Spain are a side to fear at these tournaments but looking at Enrique's squad, you'd have to say this isn't the strongest group of players they've had on show. 

But there are several young talents worth keeping an eye on. Villarreal centre back Pau Torres, fresh from shutting out Arsenal and Manchester United to win the Europa League, is one. 

Ferran Torres of Manchester City is another, along with RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo on the other wing. Wolves' Adama Traore can also offer a threat from the substitutes' bench. Spain should easily get out of the group.

Poland

FIFA ranking: 21st; Odds 80-1; Euros best: Quarter-final (2016) 

The boss: Paulo Sousa

As a player for Portugal he reached the quarter-finals of Euro 1996 and semi-finals of Euro 2000 and I'm sure Sousa would take either of those finishes now as manager of Poland. 

I read recently that the 50-year-old is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian, plus his native Portuguese. He's probably picked up some Polish now, too!

The star: Robert Lewandowski

My sources in Poland tell me this Lewandowski chap is half-decent, and Sousa might want to think about coming up with a game plan which creates chances for him. 

Lewandowski, that Bayern Munich superstar, is a goalscoring machine. Last season he scored 48 goals for his club. The season before that — 55. 

Robert Lewandowski is a goal machine and is the best striker in world football currently

There isn't a better striker out there than this 32-year-old. Every nation will fear Poland because of his presence.

Sutton's verdict

Poland's first game takes place in Russia, then their second game is in Spain, before their third game back in Russia. Sousa's squad are certainly going to get some miles under their belt!

The worry is if they lose Lewandowski. Back in March, Poland beat Andorra 3-0 with Lewandowski scoring twice. Days later, they lost 2-1 to England, with their star striker missing due to a knee injury. 

One man doesn't make a team but quite simply with Lewandowski, Poland are a side to fear. Without him, they aren't the same.  

Slovakia 

FIFA ranking: 36th; Odds 250-1; Euros best: Last 16 (2016)

The boss: Stefan Tarkovic

Oversaw the crucial play-off victory over Northern Ireland in November that qualified Slovakia for these Euros in his first game in charge. 

Tarkovic says with the limited time he's had in charge, he will be happy as long as his players give maximum effort in each game.

The star: Marek Hamsik

You'll recognise Hamsik — he'll be the one with the distinctive mohawk hairstyle in midfield. The 33-year-old spent 12 years at Napoli and is in line to become a free agent this summer after signing a short-term contract with Swedish club IFK Goteborg. 

Marek Hamsik is without a club but Slovakia's record scorer will hope to make an impression

He's Slovakia's all-time top scorer and a good Euros never hurts if you're searching for a new club. His combative approach will ensure he's in the thick of the action.

Sutton's verdict

Slovakia reached the last 16 at Euro 2016. They aren't expected to repeat that trick at this tournament but a positive opening result against Poland would give the outsiders a welcome lift.

Sweden 

FIFA ranking: 18th; Odds 100-1; Euros best: Semi-finals (1992) 

The boss: Janne Andersson

Sweden showed plenty of promise under Andersson at the 2018 World Cup as they reached the quarter-finals before England knocked them out. 

During a recent interview Andersson was asked for a response to accusations that Sweden don't play attractive football. 'Watch our games more closely,' he said. So I guess we better had!

The star: Alexander Isak

After all the talk of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's comeback — or the 'return of the God' as he so modestly tweeted — a knee injury means he won't make it to the Euros. 

There are high hopes of Alexander Isak, who has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Instead Isak, 21, who holds the record as Sweden's youngest scorer, can show us what he's all about.

Sutton's verdict

I'll be keeping an eye on a certain 23-year-old striker called Jordan Larsson — son of my old Celtic strike partner Henrik.

His father made his presence felt on the big stage. Maybe in Ibrahimovic's absence the son can, too. 

Group F

France

FIFA ranking: 2nd; Odds 9-2; Euros best: Winners (1984, 2000) 

The boss: Didier Deschamps

He won the World Cup in 1998 and the Euros in 2000 as a player. Then he won the World Cup in 2018 as a coach. Win Euro 2020 and the collection will be complete for Deschamps. 

You will not find a manager better equipped to tackle a major tournament than this 52-year-old. The former defensive midfielder — or 'the water-carrier' as Eric Cantona once nicknamed him for doing the dirty work for those with more creative talent — will not be losing any sleep over bookmakers installing France as favourites. 

They made it to the Euro 2016 final five years ago, losing 1-0 to Portugal in extra-time. But Deschamps' France can take the title this time.

Didier Deschamps will hope Euro 2020 is the tournament where Kylian Mbappe comes alive

The star: Kylian Mbappe

There is no shortage of stars in this French squad. Take N'Golo Kante, for example. You will not find a better defensive midfielder in the world right now. Or we could highlight Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema or Antoine Griezmann. 

But Mbappe is undoubtedly the side's superstar. This 22-year-old is already a World Cup winner. 

Maybe, just maybe, this might be tournament where we end up saying Mbappe is officially the world's best player, better than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sutton's verdict

On paper France should make the final. They've got the manager, the players and the Parisian star who is capable of making this the Mbappe tournament. 

They're in a tough group, of course. Germany can beat anyone on their day. As can Portugal with you-know-who. But France will be confident. They're the world champions. It should be others fearing them — not them fearing others. 

Germany

FIFA ranking: 12th; Odds: 8-1; Euros best: Winners (1972, 1980, 1996) 

The boss: Joachim Low

It's the final chapter of his time as Germany's manager. After 15 years in charge, Low will step down following this tournament, to be replaced by his old assistant Hans-Dieter Flick. 

Naturally then, Low wants to bow out with a bang. He has a Euros runner-up medal from 2008 at home and a World Cup winners' medal from 2014. 

Germany's dominance has diminished of late. A recent 6-0 defeat by Spain was embarrassing, to say the least. Now's the time for Germany to redeem themselves at these Euros.

Joachim Low will end his spell as Germany boss this summer and will hope for a good farewell

The star: Thomas Muller

Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Antonio Rudiger just won the Champions League with Chelsea. Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan was a finalist, too. But I have to name the 31-year-old from Bayern Munich as my star. 

Muller started in that 2014 World Cup final under Low. Now the attacking midfielder believes he can impact Euro 2020: 'I don't want to be all talk and no trousers. I want to be the catalyst. The one who can switch into turbo mode.'

Let's see it, then!

Sutton's verdict

Remember what happened at the 2018 World Cup? Germany were the defending champions but they finished bottom of a group consisting of Sweden, Mexico and South Korea. 

That was a rare dark moment for German football. They're up against heavyweights in France and Portugal — along with Hungary — here but at least all three of their games are at Munich's Allianz Arena. That's certainly a boost. 

Hungary 

FIFA ranking: 37th; Odds 400-1; Euros best: Semi-finals (1964, 1972)

The boss: Marco Rossi

Rossi will be telling his players that they've got little to lose in such a difficult group.

With games against France, Germany and Portugal they're the major underdogs so can only try their best to spring a surprise. It's unfortunate for Rossi that he must now make do without midfield prodigy Dominik Szoboszlai, who's injured for these Euros.

The star: Peter Gulacsi

If Hungary are to make it out of the 'Group of Death', then they'll need their goalkeeper Gulacsi to morph into a brick wall. It bodes well that nobody kept more clean sheets than the RB Leipzig man managed in the Bundesliga last season.

Peter Gulacsi will be busy between the sticks for Hungary in the 'Group of Death' this summer

Sutton's verdict

Two of their three group games are in Budapest so home advantage could work in their favour. Hungary can take inspiration from five years ago when they went into their final group game against Portugal — and drew 3-3 to finish top of Group F. 

So, while their task appears somewhat daunting given the sheer quality of their rivals in the tournament's most formidable group, you never know...

Portugal 

FIFA ranking: 5th; Odds: 8-1; Euros best: Winners (2016) 

The boss: Fernando Santos

Santos was manager five years ago when Portugal were crowned Euro 2016 champions despite drawing all three group games. Can they win back-to-back titles? With a squad full of talent, that has to be the aim of this veteran coach.

The star: Cristiano Ronaldo

In Ruben Dias, they've got one of the world's best defenders. In Bruno Fernandes, they've got one of the world's best playmakers. 

Bruno Fernandes is a star but Cristiano Ronaldo is the go-to man for Portugal at the Euros

Then in Ronaldo, they've got the man who many consider the best forward of all time. 

The Juventus superstar says winning Euro 2016 was 'the most important trophy I've won in my life'. He's won a few and will fancy another.

Sutton's verdict

Portugal didn't secure a win in normal time at Euro 2016 until the semi-finals. But it worked out for them! 

With these players, Portugal shouldn't need to rely on extra time or penalties so much this time. They can get the job done in 90 minutes. 

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