Why Euro 2020 not 2021?
The competition was originally scheduled for last year but was delayed because of the pandemic. UEFA decided to stick with the original branding despite the postponement. If you don’t fancy strange looks or explaining yourself just call it The Euros. But the official name is Euro 2020.
When does it start?
The curtain raiser sees Turkey take on Italy in Rome on Friday June 11th at 8PM BST. The games continue daily (pretty much) for the rest of June.
When does it end?
The semi finals will be held on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th of July, with the final taking place on Saturday 11th July at Wembley Stadium, London.
How does it work?
There are 24 teams split up into six groups of four. Each team plays the three other nations in their group once. Based on those results, the Winner and Runner Up from each group go straight into the Round of 16, along with the four best third placed teams from across the groups.
What are the groups?
Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland
Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia
Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia
Group D: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic
Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia
Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany
England and Scotland are pitted together in Group D, along with the Czech Republic and familiar foes Croatia.
Wales are in Group A which is trickier than it might look at first glance. Italy are always a force and a resurgent Turkey will fancy their chances at qualifying, not to mention a very capable Switzerland.
Group F is the Group of Death, with the two previous World Cup winners in Germany and France along with reigning European champions Portugal.
The rest of the groups are a little more clear cut (on paper at least) but with the third placed table likely to be so tight anything is possible. Every goal will matter!
The Round of 16
The six group winners and six group runners up will qualify for the Round of 16 automatically. They will be joined by the four best 3rd placed teams from across the six groups.
A special table will be used to decide which of the 3rd placed teams will continue in the competition. This will be treated like a normal league table, with rankings based on points, goal difference, goals scored, then number of wins and finally disciplinary ranking. Do not forget these nations will not play each other, but rather their ranking will be based on the games they played in the original groups.
The Winners of Groups B, C, E and F will play the best 3rd place teams in the Round of 16. Simple, right? No so fast. Which teams they play depends on the groups that produce those best 3rd place teams. There are 15 different combinations of groups and we have broken it down by colour for you here. If like us you find that too complicated then just wait until the 23rd of June when we will know for sure!
Quarter-finals, Semi-finals and Final
As is customary, the group winners will be kept apart in the Round of 16, and each top team will play either a runner up or third placed nation from another group. The winner and runner up from each group will only meet again should both teams make it to the final.
Thankfully that is the last of the confusing and scenarios, and once the Round of 16 takes place it is a straight shot to the final. The four quarter finals will take place in Rome, Munich, Baku and St Petersburg. Both semi-finals and the final will be held in Wembley Stadium, London.
Where can I watch it?
The good news is the entire competition is free to air on terrestrial television for viewers in both the Republic of Ireland (RTE) and the United Kingdom (BBC/ITV). Viewers in the US can watch on ESPN. For a full nation by nation break down click here.
When will the squads be announced?
Some nations have already announced who’s going to be “on the plane” but the official deadline for squad selection is Tuesday 1st of June. Sky have a dedicated page to keep track of squad news which you can find here.