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All You Need To Know About UEFA Euro 2020

UEFA Euro 2020

The European Championships have been played every four years since 1960, with the first official winners being the Soviet Union, beating Yugoslavia in the final, as reported by UEFA.com.

The 2020 tournament will be different from all of the others, which we will explain in our guide.

Who are the reigning champions?

Portugal is currently the team to beat. Inspired by Ronaldo, they won Euro 2016, which took place in France, as well as winning the recent qualifying tournament, the Nations League.

However, they may not get a chance to defend their title. There are no automatic qualifiers for the tournament and the Irish Examiner reports they’re on course to find themselves in a play-off to secure their place at the tournament.

How many matches will be played?

51 games will be played in a repeat of the 2016 competition, which was the biggest to date. It’s set to be contested by 24 teams, with two emerging from each group and a further four third-placed teams.

Which cities are set to host games?

A preview of Euro 2020 by bwin Football explains how this will be the first time the tournament has been in 12 different countries.

Several big cities are set to host matches, with St Petersburg the first European city to host matches in successive international tournaments. The Krestovsky Stadium hosted a semi-final and the third-place play-off match in the 2018 World Cup and is scheduled to host games up to the quarter-finals.

Rome, Baku, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Glasgow, Dublin, Bilbao, Munich, Budapest, and London make up the other cities.

Where will the final be held?

Both semi-finals and the final will be held at Wembley Stadium in London. It will be the first time a major tournament game has been held at the new home of English football, with the old Wembley previously hosting a World Cup final in 1966 and the 1996 European Championship final.

How is qualifying different this year?

20 places will be given to those taking part in the current round of qualifying matches, with four more sides picked from the Nations League tournament played last year.

That means a backdoor entry into the tournament for some smaller nations. One place will be reserved for each tier of the Nations League, with a BBC article confirming that Scotland, Kosovo, Georgia, and Belarus are amongst those already guaranteed a chance to qualify in March 2020, even if they finish in a low position in their current group.

Which teams will be amongst the favorites?

The favorites are going to Germany, Spain, and Italy. All three are leading their qualifying groups by a clear margin and perform well in tournaments. France is struggling to overcome Turkey in their group but should be competing in the latter stages of the finals as well.

England’s young side made it to the World Cup semi-final in 2018 and have a 100% qualifying record, but will be outsiders, as will Belgium who also finished in the last four of the World Cup.

Portugal is not the most exciting team but as reigning champions, they’ll be hoping to retain the trophy in what is likely to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s final tournament.

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