A duel that Jurgen Klopp would love to see would have to be cancelled. Instead, the oldest international match in football history continues to be played and somehow looks like it was back in 1996. European Championship Group D holds some historic promise.
EM 2020 starts with a delay of one year on June 11, 2021. This tournament, to be held across Europe, will be played with 24 teams for the first time. Out of a total of six groups (A to F), three countries can qualify for the Round of 16. Nothing is clear ahead of this European Championship, but one thing is certain: the final round with two semi-finals and a final will be played at London’s Wembley Stadium from 6 July. Before that it’s a wild ride for some countries with locations between Seville and Baku. We pre-see a group every day. After Group E, there is now Group D. There England will take on Vice World Champion Croatia, British neighbor Scotland and since 1996 Vice European Champion Czech Republic.
Here’s a player to watch:
At Liverpool FC, Jurgen Klopp has shaped them as the best full-back pairing in the world at present. However, because Trent Alexander-Arnold injured his thigh while preparing for the English selection and missed the tournament, the duel with Scotland captain Andrew Robertson had to be cancelled. Alexander-Arnold plays on the right, Robertson plays on the left, they share the outside lane and make a direct comparison.
It will not be what makes Robertson a potential winner of the duel now playing for England instead of his LFC ally. Because Robertson is often called “the difference player”. His thrust and his sharp and precise deliveries cause danger at the top, apart from the fact that he also jeopardizes the opponent’s goal with standards and crosses. It’s clearly worth a closer look.
You must know for sure:
Group D is the one that experiences the special charm of the European Championships in 1996. 25 years ago, Scotland and England meet in the group stage, and the Three Lions are again playing all their preliminary round matches at Wembley. The British Duel is also the second group game for both teams in 2021, with Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne meeting in 1996 for an English 2–0 victory. but that’s not all.
The English won the Round of 16 (against Spain) on penalties, and the winner in the semi-final against Germany was to be determined by unlucky point. Gareth Southgate failed decisively for Andreas Köpke and Andreas Möller shot down the DFB-Elf in the final. It was Southgate who is now the national coach and led the English to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, which in turn lost to Croatia. That Croatian team finished Bertie Vogts’ XI in the round of 16 and is now England’s first opponent.
What is missing is the Czech Republic, which were closer than ever to their first major title in 1996 and have never been since – but the team has only existed as such since Czechoslovakia split into two independent states. . In the first major tournament after this division, the Czechs made it to the final without losing a goal in the knockout rounds, even going 1–0 against Germany. Then Oliver Bierhoff came in as a substitute: equalization, extra time, the most famous gold goal in football history, Germany was the European champion. This also explains why “England, Scotland, Croatia, Czech Republic” sounds like 1996. And the final will be again this time in London.
If such nostalgia sounds completely different to you, there is a delicacy from the category “I already read it somewhere”: Scotland against England, the schedule of the first official international football match. About 139 years ago on November 30, 1872, in Glasgow, about 4,000 spectators saw … a goalless draw. The first of 114 official duels between the two countries so far, after which the two non-British selections faced each other 30 times before an international match was played for the first time.
Don’t miss this game:
Obviously the British would have to pick up the opening game at this point. The new edition of the 2018 World Cup semi-finals will take place at Wembley on 13 June at 3 pm, with the Three Lions taking an early lead and then, after extra time, the Croatian national team advance to the final. It is a duel of the two favorites in this Group D and if there is a winner, he can almost certainly plan to move on. On the other hand, for a potential loser, it will be tight despite the option that a third party may also expect a round of 16.
Because the defensively strong Scots – having had only twice more than a goal in the last 16 internationals and losing only two – are an unpleasant opponent. In addition, they won both games against the Czech Republic (2–1 and 1–0) in the latest Nations League, which is why they can be seen as the weakest eleven, at least on paper. But along with Tomas Sousek they have a driver in the defensive midfield who is also dangerous on the offensive with ten goals this season in the Premier League. And whose tough football and physical games should be examples of the Czech approach. To win, to fight, to fight.
In two phases that could with a clear conscience be called “the cathedral of football”. One of the most famous scenes in (German) sporting history took place at the old Wembley Stadium, and there is still controversy about whether Geoff Hurst’s shot in the 101st minute of the 1966 World Cup final was from the bottom edge of the crossbar or No. The goal line bounced or came behind him. The names of referee Gottfried Dienst – who initially gave a corner as Wolfgang Webber cleared the ball – and linesman Tofik Bacharamo, who dismissed Dienst at the time, still resonate today.
Hampden Park in Glasgow, in which three games are played without English participation, is meanwhile the oldest football stadium in the world, and was sometimes the largest. Eintracht Frankfurt lost in 1960 against Real Madrid in the national championship final with a 3:7 draw. And not only does the result feel outdated, the over 127,000 viewers also feel like it used to be. For six years, Borussia Dortmund was the first German team to win a European Cup with the Cup Winners’ Cup. But now it’s actually quite the history lesson. As of the current situation, both stadiums are planned with 25 per cent occupancy, which means London with 90,000 seats will have 22,500 spectators and Glasgow with 51,000 seats will have 12,750 fans.
Now it’s your turn! Who will win the group?
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