The official line-up of 24 nations for next year’s UEFA Euro 2021 tournament has been completed after the four play-off finals that took place earlier this week. North Macedonia, Slovakia and Hungary all booked their place in the landmark event, but in the United Kingdom, the big story was the success of Scotland.
They will be competing at a major international tournament for the first time since the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and as such, the celebrations were widespread. Northern Ireland were, unfortunately, unable to make it 4/4 for the home nations but at the very least, there will be three representatives who are ready and willing to do the UK proud.
You’ll be able to bet on the remaining UEFA Nations League fixtures on the betting page but today, we’re going to be taking a look at how we believe England, Wales and Scotland are going to do when Euro 2021 rolls around. It may seem and feel like it’s going to take a while before we get there, but in reality, the next seven months are going to fly by.
For a team that are considered to be one of the favourites with the bookmakers to win the Euros next year, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of overwhelming optimism within the England camp. Sure, they’re winning games, but there’s an experimental nature to Gareth Southgate’s management style that suggests he’s still trying to work out what’s best for him and the squad.
They’ve got a decent enough group that features Croatia, Czech Republic and Scotland, three teams they shouldn’t be afraid of, but there’s an added expectation on Southgate’s shoulders now stemming from the overachievement of reaching the semi-finals in Russia.
Prediction: England reach the quarter-finals
The Welsh, guided by Gareth Bale, will be heading into their second consecutive European Championship. We all know how well they did to overcome the odds and reach the semi-finals in 2016, but the jury is still out when it comes to determining what this squad can do. They can definitely cause the occasional upset and they have match winners within their ranks, but the big question is whether or not they can put all of that together on a consistent basis.
Italy, Turkey and Switzerland are their three group opponents who are going to be the definition of tough – especially when you consider their two trips to Baku.
Prediction: Wales reach the Round of 16
Scotland are probably just happy that they’ve even been able to make it to the dance in the first place after their phenomenal penalty shootout win over Serbia, but now that they’re here, they need to start feeling optimistic. In addition to playing the Auld Enemy at Wembley, they’ll be facing Croatia and Czech Republic at Hampden Park. If fans are allowed back in stadiums by the time we get to the Euros, you can bet that atmosphere is going to do wonders for their hopes of making it to the knockout stage.
Prediction: Scotland reach the Round of 16