Euro 2020 Group B preview: Belgium, Russia, Finland, Denmark - fixtures, squads, match schedule, predictions

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Euro 2020 Group B preview: Belgium, Russia, Finland, Denmark - fixtures, squads, match schedule, predictions
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

With Euro 2020 not far far, Belgium will be out for glory - but they must first navigate Group B.

Given their No1 spot in the FIFA rankings, Roberto Martinez’s Red Devils will be favourites to win their group - but all three of Denmark, Finland and Russia will be looking at that second spot with confidence.

Euro 2020 Group B preview

Denmark

Euro 2020 fixtures: vs. Finland in Copenhagen, June 12; vs. Belgium in Copenhagen, June 17; vs. Russia in Copenhagen, June 21

Qualifying: Group D runner-up

Euro 2016 result: Did not qualify

Best result: Champion (1992)

FIFA ranking: 10th

Coach: Kasper Hjulmand (Denmark)

Squad

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel, Jonas Lossl, Frederik Ronnow

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Defenders: Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Joachim Andersen, Mathias Jorgensen, Daniel Wass, Jens Stryger Larsen, Joakim Maehle, Nicolai Boilesen

Midfielders: Christian Eriksen, Thomas Delaney, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Mathias Jensen, Christian Norgaard, Anders Christiansen

Forwards: Kasper Dolberg, Jonas Wind, Andreas Cornelius, Martin Braithwaite, Robert Skov, Mikkel Damsgaard, Yussuf Poulsen, Andreas Skov Olsen

Key player: Christian Eriksen — The 29-year-old attacking midfielder will be the one expected to create scoring chances. Eriksen has made more than 100 international appearances for Denmark and became a key part of the Inter Milan team that won its first Serie A title in 11 years this year.

Finland

Euro 2020 fixtures: vs. Denmark in Copenhagen, June 12; vs. Russia in St. Petersburg, June 16; vs. Belgium in St. Petersburg, June 21

Qualifying: Group J runner-up

Euro 2016 result: Did not qualify

Best result: Never before qualified

FIFA ranking: 54th

Coach: Markku Kanerva (Finland)

Squad

Goalkeepers: Lukas Hradecky, Jesse Joronen, Anssi, Jaakkola

Defenders: Thomas Lam, Paulus Arajuuri, Jere Uronen, Juhani Ojala, Sauli Vaisanen, Nikolai Alho, Daniel O'Shaughnessy, Niko Hamalainen, Leo Vaisanen, Robert Ivanov

Midfielders: Jasin Assehnoun, Onni Valakari, Pyry Soiri, Fredrik Jensen, Joni Kauko, Glen Kamara, Rasmus Schuller, Tim Sparv

Forwards: Teemu Pukki, Lassi Lappalainen, Marcus Forss, Joel Pohjanpalo

Key player: Teemu Pukki — The Finland forward led his country into its first international tournament and scored 26 goals this season to help Norwich get promoted to the Premier League. He was even more prolific in Euro 2020 qualifying with 10 goals in 10 games, finishing one goal behind Portugal great Cristiano Ronaldo and two behind England striker Harry Kane.

Belgium

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Euro 2020 fixtures: vs. Russia in St. Petersburg, June 12; vs. Denmark in Copenhagen, June 17; vs. Finland in St. Petersburg, June 21

Qualifying: Group I winner

Euro 2016 result: Quarterfinals

Best result: Runner-up (1980)

FIFA ranking: First

Coach: Roberto Martinez (Spain)

Squad

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Matz Sels

Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Thomas Meunier, Jason Denayer, Dedryck Boyata, Leander Dendoncker, Timothy Castagne

Midfielders: Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Yannick Carrasco, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard, Dennis Praet, Hans Vanaken

Forwards: Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke, Michy Batshuayi, Jeremy Doku, Leandro Trossard

Key player: Kevin De Bruyne — The Manchester City midfielder was injured in the Champions League final loss, fracturing his nose and eye socket. But he is still expected to be the key creative force for Belgium. He scored four goals and had seven assists in six Euro 2020 qualifying matches.

Russia

Euro 2020 fixtures: vs. Belgium in St. Petersburg, June 12; vs. Finland in St. Petersburg, June 16; vs. Denmark in Copenhagen, June 21

Qualifying: Group I runner-up

Euro 2016 result: Group stage

Best result: Champion (1960, as USSR)

FIFA ranking: 38th

Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia)

Squad

Goalkeepers: Yuri Dyupin, Matvei Safonov, Anton Shunin

Defenders: Georgi Dzhikiya, Igor Diveev, Yuri Zhirkov, Vyacheslav Karavaev, Fedor Kudryashov, Andrei Semenov, Mario Fernandes

Midfielders: Dmitri Barinov, Rifat Zhemaletdinov, Maksim Mukhin, Aleksandr Golovin, Daniil Fomin, Roman Zobnin, Alexei Ionov, Daler Kuzyayev, Andrei Mostovoy, Magomed Ozdoev, Denis Makarov, Aleksei Miranchuk, Denis Cheryshev

Forwards: Artem Dzyuba, Anton Zabolotny, Aleksandr Sobolev

Key player: Alexander Golovin — The Monaco midfielder was a breakout star for Russia at the 2018 World Cup and has become the main creative spark in the national team's midfield.

Predictions

1st: Belgium

2nd: Denmark

3rd: Russia

4th: Russia

Additional reporting by AP.

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