Group E Analysis4th Jun 2016 |
Group of death? I have read some articles where it’s claimed that Group D is the “death group”, but I can’t cosign that. I am sure that you understand my thinking, buddy. Group D consists of veterans, just like Group E. All of these teams have participated in several UEFA Euro Championships earlier. But Group E carries so much fresh blood, so much young talent, combined with an extremely eager Italian team who have seen the prestigious trophy slip through their fingers several times since 1968. The Italians will have a lot to prove this year, after their devastating 4-0 loss to Spain in the final of Euro 2012. Most pundits place Italy as the favourites in Group E, but I would not be so quick to judge.
If you look at the current FIFA rankings, Belgium is the second best team in the world. FIFA places them higher than both Italy, Germany, Spain, England and Portugal. 19 points above France, in fact. With a brilliant, fresh, young team packed with talent, the Belgians could just become champions this year. I would not be surprised if they at least reached the finals. Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Christian Benteke, Fellaini, Lukaku, Dembele, Courtois – I don’t even need to include their first names, you know the players! Belgium will surely advance in my opinion, the question is whether Italy can withhold the pressure from Sweden and Ireland. Oh, and by the way, only 4 out of 24 players in the Belgian squad are above 30 – most are between 22 and 25 years old!
Sweden has plummeted down to 36th place in the FIFA ranking, with Zlatan being the only internationally recognised player in their squad. No matter how good he does his job (which he surely will) it’s impossible for one man to play for the whole team. Sweden is the underdogs if you ask me.