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Thread: Euro 2020

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Boston, MA

    Euro 2020

    The World Cup is the single greatest sporting event on planet Earth. Even if you don't like soccer, there is no event that has a combination of a) bringing the world together, b) bringing out fan passion, and c) preventing employees from doing work for a solid month. It is a glorious event.

    Given the World Cup is only every 4 years (which only makes it a better tournament), we fill in that gap with 'other' sporting events. And one of those events is the Euro Cup, which is, without question, the best regional soccer tournament.

    On Friday, June 11, we kick off Euro 2020. There are plenty of great teams (France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Portugal), plenty of good teams (England, Spain, Denmark, Sweden), and one team that will surely disappoint (the Netherlands).

    Over the next couple of days, I'll provide a breakdown of the favorites and the semi-favorites.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    The World Cup is the single greatest sporting event on planet Earth. Even if you don't like soccer, there is no event that has a combination of a) bringing the world together, b) bringing out fan passion, and c) preventing employees from doing work for a solid month. It is a glorious event.

    Given the World Cup is only every 4 years (which only makes it a better tournament), we fill in that gap with 'other' sporting events. And one of those events is the Euro Cup, which is, without question, the best regional soccer tournament.

    On Friday, June 11, we kick off Euro 2020. There are plenty of great teams (France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Portugal), plenty of good teams (England, Spain, Denmark, Sweden), and one team that will surely disappoint (the Netherlands).

    Over the next couple of days, I'll provide a breakdown of the favorites and the semi-favorites.
    I love international soccer tournaments, and I look forward to your primer on this event. I anticipate offering many sporks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    On Friday, June 11, we kick off Euro 2020. There are plenty of great teams (France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Portugal), plenty of good teams (England, Spain, Denmark, Sweden), and one team that will surely disappoint (the Netherlands).
    Given your moniker, this made me chuckle. My wife's sister married a Dutchman, and he and their son are big Ajax and Dutch National Team fans. They are consistently disillusioned with both. But our family will continue to actively root for the Oranje, particular since the Red, White, and Blue can't even qualify for Olympic play. I, too, will look forward to your updates!

    Oh, and quick story: In summer of 2010, my son was invited to Amsterdam to stay with my in-laws and their same-age son during their holiday (so, a month). He was a minor at the time, and his travel day coincidentally just happened to work out to be the exact day of the World Cup final, which that year was Spain v. Netherlands. Naturally, the direct flight from DC to Amsterdam was just packed with soccer-obsessed Dutch, and the flight was delayed for a minor mechanical issue while the final was in progress. Alas, they did not know how long it would be, and informed the crowd to remain in the gate area. The nearest TV featuring the game was a brisk five or more minute walk away, so instead, a woman on a cell phone had called her friend in the Netherlands and was relaying the progress to a crowd of at least 50 people. I'll never forget her, shouting out in her inimitable Dutch accent, "Oh, shoot, they scored a goal!!" She didn't say "shoot", of course, and she was a very proper sounding lady, so the use of the epithet was very telling.

    My son informs me that they didn't take it too hard and that the flight to Amsterdam was still plenty boisterous.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    What is the broadcast availability for matches?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    What is the broadcast availability for matches?
    Everything on ESPN/ABC! Yeah!

  6. #6
    Letís do this. Cato the Younger is in his first year of little kid soccer, and they picked teams from a hat to root for. We are all in for Germany, apparently.

    ETA: one of his buddies got the Dutch, so despite my better instincts, we will be rooting for them too.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    There are plenty of great teams (France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Portugal), plenty of good teams (England, Spain, Denmark, Sweden), and one team that will surely disappoint (the Netherlands).
    You may want to move the English not the disappointment category. To add further indignity they are the betting favorites. Itís a suckers bet.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Given your moniker, this made me chuckle. My wife's sister married a Dutchman, and he and their son are big Ajax and Dutch National Team fans. They are consistently disillusioned with both. But our family will continue to actively root for the Oranje, particular since the Red, White, and Blue can't even qualify for Olympic play. I, too, will look forward to your updates!

    Oh, and quick story: In summer of 2010, my son was invited to Amsterdam to stay with my in-laws and their same-age son during their holiday (so, a month). He was a minor at the time, and his travel day coincidentally just happened to work out to be the exact day of the World Cup final, which that year was Spain v. Netherlands. Naturally, the direct flight from DC to Amsterdam was just packed with soccer-obsessed Dutch, and the flight was delayed for a minor mechanical issue while the final was in progress. Alas, they did not know how long it would be, and informed the crowd to remain in the gate area. The nearest TV featuring the game was a brisk five or more minute walk away, so instead, a woman on a cell phone had called her friend in the Netherlands and was relaying the progress to a crowd of at least 50 people. I'll never forget her, shouting out in her inimitable Dutch accent, "Oh, shoot, they scored a goal!!" She didn't say "shoot", of course, and she was a very proper sounding lady, so the use of the epithet was very telling.

    My son informs me that they didn't take it too hard and that the flight to Amsterdam was still plenty boisterous.
    IIRC, that Spanish team was remarkable. Won both the WC and Euro.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    What is the broadcast availability for matches?
    [Importing a recent post of mine from the other footy thread, where we had recently just begun discussing the EUROs.]

    Hereís a handy guide to ESPN/ABC coverage of EUROs, including roster of announcers, studio analysts. Also a few snarky comments.

    https://the18.com/soccer-entertainme...aming-schedule

    Any opinions re announcers? Derek Rae is the best football announcer Iíve ever heard. Iím not much of a fan of Twellman, but I guess heís improved. I like Darke, Champion, Robson, Donaldson. Looking forward to Del Piero, never heard him as analyst. Keller pretty dull, I find.

    I do not like Alejandro Moreno at all. Am I off-base in thinking him relentlessly snide, self-important?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Given your moniker, this made me chuckle. My wife's sister married a Dutchman, and he and their son are big Ajax and Dutch National Team fans. They are consistently disillusioned with both. But our family will continue to actively root for the Oranje, particular since the Red, White, and Blue can't even qualify for Olympic play. I, too, will look forward to your updates!

    Oh, and quick story: In summer of 2010, my son was invited to Amsterdam to stay with my in-laws and their same-age son during their holiday (so, a month). He was a minor at the time, and his travel day coincidentally just happened to work out to be the exact day of the World Cup final, which that year was Spain v. Netherlands. Naturally, the direct flight from DC to Amsterdam was just packed with soccer-obsessed Dutch, and the flight was delayed for a minor mechanical issue while the final was in progress. Alas, they did not know how long it would be, and informed the crowd to remain in the gate area. The nearest TV featuring the game was a brisk five or more minute walk away, so instead, a woman on a cell phone had called her friend in the Netherlands and was relaying the progress to a crowd of at least 50 people. I'll never forget her, shouting out in her inimitable Dutch accent, "Oh, shoot, they scored a goal!!" She didn't say "shoot", of course, and she was a very proper sounding lady, so the use of the epithet was very telling.

    My son informs me that they didn't take it too hard and that the flight to Amsterdam was still plenty boisterous.
    I too was in Amsterdam during the WC 2010 Finals. Gut wrenching, but Spain was the more talented team (that team was really unstoppable. The fact the Dutch held them scoreless for 100+ minutes is incredible).
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Breakdown of the top teams (and top-ish teams)

    I'll provide my two cents on each of the favorites and semi-favorites and provide a college basketball analogy. Feels appropriate given the forum.

    France: Arguably the most talented team top to bottom. This is similar to the team that murdered their way through the WC 2018 only with more talent. Mbappe is becoming - or already is - a top 3 player in the world. Griezmann and Pogba, while often struggling with their respective clubs, are still world class on the national team. Pavard, Hernandez, Varane, and Lloris still exist. And then there is Kante, who is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world, and it probably isn't that close. Adding insult to injury? Benzema, one of the best center forwards in the last decade, is back on the team after a 5-6 year exile from the national team. Yeah, these guys are stacked. Their downfall? Arrogance.
    Comp: Kentucky

    Belgium: The number one team in the world. Stacked. The team that started to come together ~10 years ago is finally mature and in their prime. They have the best midfielder in the world (De Bruyne, who broke his nose and eye socket in the Champions League final), a top 5 keeper in Courtois, an underrated center forward in Lukaku, and plenty of very good role players (Mertens, Hazard x2, Alderweireld, Vertonghen). They have been playing together for a long time and, while going pretty far in the World Cup, they are still inexperienced. The problem is consistency, and that starts with Hazard. One of the best 10s in the world a few years ago, he's fallen off the map. Also, this team will go as far as De Bruyne will take them. And, as the Champions League final showed, De Bruyne can be stopped. Bottomline - Belgium is uber talented on paper, they have played together for a decade plus, and expectations are sky high. Which means they are going to crash hard.
    Comp: Gonzaga

    Germany: Meet the Jekyll and Hyde of the party. Germany, on paper, is unbelievable. From forwards (Muller, Gnarby, Havertz) to the midfield (Gosens, Kimmich, Gundogan, Kroos) to the keeper (Neuer), they have so many pieces. Their bench is also amazing with Sane, Werner, Goretzka, etc. But their defense is so mediocre. They still rely very heavily on Hummels, whose game is a shell of what it once was. And they are very prone to counter attacks. With their offense, they can score 6 goals. But because of the spotty defense, they can give up 4 goals in a game. German fans are going to be on the edge of their seat during these Euro games; which Germany will show up?
    Comp: Duke (and it hurts me to put Duke as the comp)

    Italy: This is a team where the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. On paper, they look good but nothing great. Their offense starts with Immobile, who is a talented striker but has never been truly 'world class'. His valuation is significantly less than the top strikers in the world. The other forwards - Insigne, Berardi, Chiesa - are talented but just shy of world class. The midfield is anchored by Jorginho and supported by young, up and coming players. It's a wonderful midfield for linking the forwards and the defense. The defense? Well, they are ancient. Headed by the Juve duo in Bonucci and Chiellini (who are combined 70 years in age), they are technically gifted but slow at this point. At least their full backs are 'young' at 28 and 30 years old. But here's the thing; despite good-not-great talent, they always perform. After not qualifying for the WC 2018, these Italians have a chip on their shoulder. They will play, they will win, and they will go far. This isn't a vintage Italy team where the defense and defensive midfield runs the show; rather, I think this is more akin to a 2000s Spain team where the passing is top notch and multiple players can score. Bottomline, don't underestimate the Azzurri.
    Comp: Villanova

    Portugal: My least favorite team in the world (moreso than the Germans or the Belgians). They are a small country that somehow continues to produce amazing talent after amazing talent. Ronaldo is old but still very effective as a goal scorer. He's probably 50% of himself in his prime, but that's still a top 25 player in the world. The problem is everyone not named Ronaldo, and this is where things get frightening. Jota proved to be a top player at Liverpool. Bernardo Silva is a sneaky player who is technically gifted. Joao comes off the bench, but he's young, fast, and frightening. In defense, Pepe is somehow still playing, but he's alongside Dias, who may be the best center back in the tournament given Virgil van Dijk is out with an ACL tear. Cancelo is arguably a top 5 full back in the world. And despite all this talent, I haven't even mentioned Bruno Fernandes, who is one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. This team is talented, aggressive, and balanced. Also, did I mention they won Euro 2016? What will sink this team is in-fighting, especially with Ronaldo not being the most talented player but demanding the most attention and touches. Also, they are in the 'Group of Death' with France and Germany. And I'd take France or Germany any day of the week and twice on Sunday over Portugal.
    Comp: UNC (because I don't like them and they are very good)

    Denmark: Everyone has Denmark as their dark horse. I don't get it, but for the sake of 'favorites', I'll put them in here. Their offense isn't spectacular (Dolberg, Skov, Braithwaite), their midfield is spearheaded by Christian Eriksen, who is arguably the most polarizing player in soccer (due to his efficacy, not his personality). Their defense is very good, with Andreas Christiensen and Simon Kjaer as anchors and a really good supporting staff. And in goal, they have the younger Schmeichel who is probably the most underrated keeper in the world. It's tough to score on this team, and Eriksen can provide magic to the mediocre forwards. But I'm not buying it. This 'cinderella' will be everyone's favorite but they aren't likely be to that threatening
    Comp: Loyola Chicago

    England: As one poster said before, this team historically has disappointed. And that poster isn't wrong. England, somehow, has never won the Euro. And they still talk about winning '66 every chance they get. This England team is, well, kinda weird. There is talent, but England talent tends to be overrated (they get lots of exposure with 98% of them playing in the Premier League). Their front line is truly incredible with so much talent. You got Harry Kane (who is being wasted at Tottenham), Sterling (who had a bad year but still impressive), Rashford (Man U darling), Sancho (soon to be Man U darling), Grealish (soon for an overpaid darling), and lots of other talented players (Calvert-Lewin, Lingard). Their holding midfielders are not impressive. And their defense, which is normally a huge asset, is filled with an overrated Man U signing (Maguire) and a bunch of players who haven't ever played a Champions League game (meaning, they play for 'B' teams in the Premier League). And the goalkeeping. If there is one thing you can count on, it's the press ripping the goalkeeper after the first game and well into the tournament. Being an English goalkeeper is akin to being an NC State coach; it doesn't matter how well you play, fans and the press are going to rip you to shreds. I don't really like this England team; I think there are way too many holes and some key players are either too injured, too selfish, or too inexperienced.
    Comp: Indiana

    Spain: Covid. That's the main thing you need to know about this team. Busquets - the most creative player in Spain - tested positive. Llorente - a support player - also tested positive. There are some nice pieces - Morata, Torres, Alcantara, F Torres, Alba, Azpilicueta - but a lot are aging. There is a new crop - Eric Garcia, Pedri, Rodri - but they aren't ready. Spain is a team with nice pieces hit by Covid and in the middle of a 'changing of the guard'. This team is a far cry from the 'tiki-taka' in the 2000s and early 2010s; they can do damage, but they do not strike fear into any team. At this point, they are just trying to find their identity.
    Comp: Michigan State

    Netherlands: The Dutch have always been one of the most exciting teams because of their offense. Think of Robben, van Persie, Sneijder, Berkamp, Kluivert, van Nistelrooy, etc. The sheer number of attacking options in the last 20 years has been incredible. Now? We have Memphis Depay, a Man U failure who reestablished himself as a top player in Ligue 1. After Memphis? Ummmmmmmm...yeah. And, historically, the Dutch have always had a spotty defense (and sometimes downright terrible). The Dutch are missing the top center back in the world in Virgil van Dijk, but they will start De Ligt (Juventus) and de Vrij (Inter), arguably two of the best center backs in Serie A. Add other defensive specialists (Blind, Ake, Wijndal, Frenkie de Jong, Marten de Roon), and the Dutch one of the best defenses at Euro. Yet, somehow, it's still a leaky defense. The pieces just don't fit. Also, there is no creative midfield. There isn't a lot of attacking midfielders. Our players who can do damage up front are historically holding midfielders (Frenkie de Jong, Wijnaldum). That's not a good recipe. The silver lining is there aren't a lot of expectations for this team and the group stage is gonna be easy. The downside is this team is not disciplined, our coach sucks, and they rely on Memphis for all scoring.
    Comp: 2020 version of Virginia (great defense, awful offense)
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  12. #12
    Thanks to fdd for wonderful thumbnail (more than that, really) sketches of favorites!

    Question: will the 3d place team in Group of Death (F) be likely or unlikely to advance to the knockout stage? If, say, highly likely, then itís not really Death.

    On this point, I feel sorry for Hungary, unless theyíre a whole lot better than I assume. As the apparent weakling in the Group of Death, surely the other 3 will want to pile up goals against Hungary with a view to finishing, at worst, as among the advancing 3d place teams on GD.

    Hereís list of players on all 24 squads:

    https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro-2020/n...-2020-squads/#

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Boston, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Thanks to fdd for wonderful thumbnail (more than that, really) sketches of favorites!

    Question: will the 3d place team in Group of Death (F) be likely or unlikely to advance to the knockout stage? If, say, highly likely, then itís not really Death.

    On this point, I feel sorry for Hungary, unless theyíre a whole lot better than I assume. As the apparent weakling in the Group of Death, surely the other 3 will want to pile up goals against Hungary with a view to finishing, at worst, as among the advancing 3d place teams on GD.

    Hereís list of players on all 24 squads:

    https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro-2020/n...-2020-squads/#
    I truly believe the 3rd place team that advances to the knock out stages will not be in the Group of Death. With the Group of Death, you have 3 elite teams (DE, FR, PR) that will all beat up on Hungary. And then the war begins. And my gut tells me one of those three teams will lose both games to the other. Furthermore, if they do beat each other, it's not going to be by a lot of goals. Hence, I believe the 3rd place team will get, at most, 4 points.

    In the other groups, there could easily be a scenario where 3 teams get 6 points. Or a scenario where the third place team gets 4 points but has a high goal count. Or a scenario where the third place team gets 5 points. Also, do not discount the fact that other groups, in the last game, will rest their starters knowing they already won the group. In the Group of Death, there is no such luxury.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. - Winston Churchill

    President of the "Nolan Smith Should Have His Jersey in The Rafters" Club

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southbury, CT
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    I'll provide my two cents on each of the favorites and semi-favorites and provide a college basketball analogy. Feels appropriate given the forum.


    England: As one poster said before, this team historically has disappointed. And that poster isn't wrong. England, somehow, has never won the Euro. And they still talk about winning '66 every chance they get. This England team is, well, kinda weird. There is talent, but England talent tends to be overrated (they get lots of exposure with 98% of them playing in the Premier League). Their front line is truly incredible with so much talent. You got Harry Kane (who is being wasted at Tottenham), Sterling (who had a bad year but still impressive), Rashford (Man U darling), Sancho (soon to be Man U darling), Grealish (soon for an overpaid darling), and lots of other talented players (Calvert-Lewin, Lingard). Their holding midfielders are not impressive. And their defense, which is normally a huge asset, is filled with an overrated Man U signing (Maguire) and a bunch of players who haven't ever played a Champions League game (meaning, they play for 'B' teams in the Premier League). And the goalkeeping. If there is one thing you can count on, it's the press ripping the goalkeeper after the first game and well into the tournament. Being an English goalkeeper is akin to being an NC State coach; it doesn't matter how well you play, fans and the press are going to rip you to shreds. I don't really like this England team; I think there are way too many holes and some key players are either too injured, too selfish, or too inexperienced.
    Comp: Indiana
    Thanks for the great preview...love the CBB analogs. My only quibble is the England/Indiana comp. Gareth Southgate has been working on the team culture and I think that England can make a statement this year. Maybe splitting hairs but I'll put them more on a Michigan-like trajectory for this tournament.

    Looking forward to updates!
    Good people drink good beer. -Hunter S. Thompson

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchdevil View Post
    I truly believe the 3rd place team that advances to the knock out stages will not be in the Group of Death. With the Group of Death, you have 3 elite teams (DE, FR, PR) that will all beat up on Hungary. And then the war begins. And my gut tells me one of those three teams will lose both games to the other. Furthermore, if they do beat each other, it's not going to be by a lot of goals. Hence, I believe the 3rd place team will get, at most, 4 points.

    In the other groups, there could easily be a scenario where 3 teams get 6 points. Or a scenario where the third place team gets 4 points but has a high goal count. Or a scenario where the third place team gets 5 points. Also, do not discount the fact that other groups, in the last game, will rest their starters knowing they already won the group. In the Group of Death, there is no such luxury.
    Iím getting ready for the opening match, and so am enjoying thinking with you (and others) about the overall tourney format, Group of Death, top-4-third-place finishers in Group Stage, etc.

    Although Iíve nothing against dark horses making the Knockout Stage, Iíll definitely hope for scenarios which result in all of France, Germany, and Portugal making it into the Knockouts. So, given the scenarios in your post, I should hope (but not necessarily expect) either that the 3 big teams in the Group of Death (1) all beat Hungary and then beat each other round-robin-style, for 6 points each, or (2) all beat Hungary soundly and then tie each other head-to-head, for 5 points each.

    Maybe (probably??) 5 points would be enough. Again, nothing against the relative minnows, 1 or 2 of which will make it to the Knockouts anyway, but I do prefer that all of the Big 3 in Group F make the Knockouts. As opposed, say, to Finland or Russia from B, or Austria or Ukraine from C.

    I realize that I might be fickle enough to take a fancy to the actual play of any of Finland, Russia, Austria, or Ukraine, and wind up not caring about 3d finisher in Group of Death. To continue your CBB analogy, I was fickle enough back during this yearís NCAAT to root hard for UCLA ó because of how much fun they were to watch ó even though I would have said prior to the First Four that I hoped UCLA would never again win another NCAAT.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    Thanks for the great preview...love the CBB analogs. My only quibble is the England/Indiana comp. Gareth Southgate has been working on the team culture and I think that England can make a statement this year. Maybe splitting hairs but I'll put them more on a Michigan-like trajectory for this tournament.

    Looking forward to updates!
    Iím not falling for that anymore. Break my heart a couple of dozen times and there is nothing left to put back together. Stupid lionsÖ..

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Italyís strength is certainly their midfield, but also their depth. Bonucci is still a world-class center back. Chiellini is formerly world class, but now more of a grinder. Honestly, I am surprised that he got the start today over Acerbi and Bastoni, who have been better than him the past two years. But I guess Mancini is going for experience early on. That holds true for Florenzi as well, as Calabria was clearly better this year and should probably have made the squad. But the experience and cohesion - along with a world-class keeper, means they will get their fair share of clean sheets.

    The midfield has several guys who are terrific in Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli, and Verratti. The latter three are maestros as passers and link up well with the back four, while Barella has the work rate to push forward and score goals as well as win balls in defensive midfield. The concern is that arguably the best of their defensive mids (Verratti) has a lingering knee problem. But the other three middies are more than capable.

    The attackers as FDD said arenít individually world class, but they link up so nicely. Insigne, Berardi, and Chiesa have fantastic pace and work rate, as do Immobile and Belotti. Insigne and Berardi also have a flair for the dramatic with bending goals from the wing. So they run and feed off the deep-lying playmaking of Jorginho and Locatelli, and that work rate makes up for some of the lack of clinical touch (especially at striker).

    It is a squad that should cruise through the group stage and stands a very good chance of making the semis. From there, it will be like previous Italian teams - trying to grind out 1-0 wins over more potent squads as the later stages arrive.

  18. #18
    Rough for the Turkish player that gave up that own goal to start the scoring, but Italy scored enough that it didnít matter. Iím happy for him it wasnít one of those 1-0 games that Italy grinds out.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    Rough for the Turkish player that gave up that own goal to start the scoring, but Italy scored enough that it didnít matter. Iím happy for him it wasnít one of those 1-0 games that Italy grinds out.
    Especially as there was little he could do. Berardi hit a rocket across the face of goal and slightly behind him. If he lets it go, Immobile is right behind him with an open net. So he had to try to block it. But it wasnít an easy block given the angle.

  20. #20
    Iím probably too interested in whoís announcing which matches, but in case any of you want to know the ďannouncer schedule,Ē here it is, for the first week of the EURO group stages.

    https://worldsoccertalk.com/2021/05/...p-stage-games/

    Watching the Swiss dominate the first half against Wales, I have occasionally heard Cangialosi. Maybe Iíll warm to him as the tourney goes on. I doubt Iíll warm to Moreno, whom I find too often snarky. Yet I concede he does make useful comments. I guess itís the way he offers comments that I find irritating.

    Iíd be happy if Derek Rae announced every match, with rotating analysts.

    Back to the match ...

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