Sports, Euro 2020

EURO 2020 GROUP E: Arguably weakest Spanish side in long time

'La Furia Roja' (The Red Fury) won EURO 1964, 2008, 2012

Can Erozden   | 11.06.2021
EURO 2020 GROUP E: Arguably weakest Spanish side in long time

ANKARA

Spain's national football team is targeting a fourth EURO title at this summer's European football championship, which is set to start on Friday.

Called "La Furia Roja" (The Red Fury), Spain were the winner of the EURO 1964, 2008 and 2012.

Between 2008 and 2012, Spain famously won two EUROs and a World Cup title to show.

Spain will take on Poland, Slovakia and Sweden in the EURO 2020 Group E.

The Group E matches will be held in Saint Petersburg, Russia and Seville, Spain.

One of the host nations of the tournament, Spain, will play all their group matches in Seville.

Spain is a true EURO frequenter as this year's contest will mark their 11th EURO tournament.

They became one of the major actors in European football in the late 2000s and early 2010s, winning back-to-back EURO titles in 2008 and 2012.

In EURO 2016 held in France, Spain were eliminated in the Round of 16 as they were beaten by Italy 2-0 in Saint-Denis, an upsetting result for the former holders.

Spain manager Luis Enrique named the squad, but he did not call any Real Madrid players for the national team. In addition to former Spain captain Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid's Daniel Carvajal, Isco, Nacho Fernandez and Marco Asensio were not invited by Enrique to the Spanish squad for EURO 2020.

Team captain Sergio Busquets, who is also a Barcelona regular, tested positive for the coronavirus Sunday, so the 32-year-old has been in quarantine.

French-born defender Aymeric Laporte, 27, will play for Spain for the first time in a major tournament.

Juventus forward Alvaro Morata, Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal and Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno are expected to be Spain's aces.

Spain was undefeated in the EURO 2020 qualifying Group F, winning the group phase with eight victories and two draws. They scored 31 goals but conceded five goals in this stage.


Spain's EURO 2020 squad:

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Defenders: Jose Gaya (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Rodri (Manchester City), Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traore (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Pedri (Barcelona)


Sweden without Ibrahimovic

The Swedish national team was in the same qualifying group as Spain, finishing in the second spot with 21 points. The Nordic side bagged a EURO 2020 ticket after six wins and three draws in 10 games. They lost one match in this phase.

Sweden did their best in EURO 1992 as they reached the semifinals. They were the host nation of the tournament.

AC Milan's towering striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is unable to play for Sweden in EURO 2020 due to a knee injury.

Manchester United's Victor Lindelof is one of the important players for Sweden. RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg is a player that Sweden will rely on in the European football contest.

Genclerbirligi goalie Kristoffer Nordfeldt is in the Sweden squad as well.

In EURO 2016, Sweden were eliminated in the group stage.


Sweden squad:

Goalkeepers: Karl-Johan Johnsson (Copenhagen), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Genclerbirligi), Robin Olsen (Everton)

Defenders: Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Pierre Bengtsson (Vejle), Marcus Danielson (Dalian Yifang), Andreas Granqvist (Helsingborg), Filip Helander (Rangers), Pontus Jansson (Brentford), Emil Krafth (Newcastle United), Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), Mikael Lustig (AIK)

Midfielders: Jens-Lys Cajuste (Midtjylland), Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar), Albin Ekdal (Sampdoria), Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig), Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus), Sebastian Larsson (AIK), Kristoffer Olsson (Krasnodar), Robin Quaison (Mainz), Ken Sema (Watford), Mattias Svanberg (Bologna), Gustav Svensson (Guangzhou)

Forwards: Marcus Berg (Krasnodar), Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad), Jordan Larsson (Spartak Moscow)

Lewandowski to be Poland's threat

One of the rising football nations, Poland, will play in their fourth consecutive EURO tournament as they previously qualified for EURO 2008, 2012 and 2016.

In the EURO 2012, Poland was one of the host nations with Ukraine. Poland did their best in the EURO 2016, reaching the quarterfinals.

They surely confide in Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski as he recently spent a magnificent season in the German club.

Playing as a striker, Lewandowski, 32, scored 48 goals in 40 matches for Bayern Munich in the 2020-21 season.

Arkadiusz Milik -- another Polish striker -- was removed from EURO 2020 squad for a knee injury.

Poland qualified for the EURO 2020 after winning the qualifying Group G with 25 points.


Poland squad:

Goalkeepers: Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United), Lukasz Skorupski (Bologna), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus)

Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (Sampdoria), Kamil Glik (Benevento), Michal Helik (Barnsley), Tomasz Kedziora (Dynamo Kyiv), Kamil Piatkowski (Rakow Czestochowa), Tymoteusz Puchacz (Lech Poznan), Maciej Rybus (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Midfielders: Pawel Dawidowicz (Verona), Przemyslaw Frankowski (Chicago Fire), Kamil Jozwiak (Derby County), Mateusz Klich (Leeds United), Kacper Kozlowski (Pogon Szczecin), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Lokomotiv Moscow), Karol Linetty (Torino), Jakub Moder (Brighton & Hove Albion), Przemyslaw Placheta (Norwich City), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli)

Forwards: Dawid Kownacki (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Karol Swiderski (PAOK), Jakub Swierczok (Piast Gliwice)


Underdogs Slovakia to battle in tough group

Slovakia will play in a EURO tournament for the second time after the EURO 2016.

They were eliminated in the Round of 16 in the previous European championship.

This summer, Slovakia has a difficult task as they will fight against Spain, Sweden and Poland in the group phase.

Slovakia came third in the qualifying Group E with 13 points to advance to the playoffs. They first eliminated Ireland on penalties and then beat Northern Ireland 2-1 after extra time to bag the EURO 2020 ticket.

Marek Hamsik is Slovakia's prominent player. The 33-year-old midfielder has been regularly playing for his nation since 2007.

Hamsik scored 26 goals in 126 appearances for the Slovakian national team.


Slovakia squad:

Goalkeepers: Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United), Dusan Kuciak (Lechia Gdansk), Marek Rodak (Fulham)

Defenders: David Hancko (Sparta Prague), Tomas Hubocan (Omonoia), Martin Koscelnik (Liberec), Peter Pekarik (Hertha Berlin), Lubomir Satka (Lech Poznan), Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan), Martin Valjent (Mallorca), Denis Vavro (Huesca)

Midfielders: Laszlo Benes (Augsburg), Ondrej Duda (Koln), Jan Gregus (Minnesota), Marek Hamsik (Goteborg), Lukas Haraslin (Sassuolo), Jakub Hromada (Slavia Prague), Patrik Hrosovsky (Genk), Juraj Kucka (Parma), Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli), Tomas Suslov (Groningen), Vladimir Weiss (Slovan Bratislava)

Forwards: Robert Bozenik (Feyenoord), Michal Duris (Omonoia), Robert Mak (Ferencvaros), Ivan Schranz (Jablonec)


Group E fixtures:

June 14 (1600 GMT): Poland vs. Slovakia (Saint Petersburg Stadium - Saint Petersburg)

June 14 (1900 GMT): Spain vs. Sweden (La Cartuja Stadium - Seville)

June 18 (1300 GMT): Sweden vs. Slovakia (Saint Petersburg Stadium)

June 19 (1900 GMT): Spain vs. Poland (La Cartuja Stadium)

June 23 (1600 GMT): Sweden vs. Poland (Saint Petersburg Stadium)

June 23 (1600 GMT): Slovakia vs. Spain (La Cartuja Stadium)

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