Sports

Full schedule, best matches to watch

Full schedule, best matches to watch

The UEFA European Championship — aka Euro 2020 (because it was supposed to be last year, get it?) aka Euros — starts Friday with the first match of the group stage, to be held at sites across the continent. Twenty-four teams are divided into six groups for round-robin play, and the top 16 — first and second place in each group, plus the four best third-place finishers — advance to the knockout rounds beginning June 26.

Here’s the complete schedule and a look at seven can’t-miss contests of the group stage:

Friday, June 11

Italy vs. Turkey, Group A
(Rome, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

There’s a lot to chew on in the tournament opener. For Italy, it’s a progress report for a squad that has ditched the defense-first formula of the past and adopted a possession-and-pressure attack in front of talented, but young keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Underdog Turkey already has beaten the Netherlands and Norway this year.

Saturday, June 12

Wales vs. Switzerland, Group A
(Baku, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Denmark vs. Finland, Group B
(Copenhagen, noon ET, ESPN)

Belgium vs. Russia, Group B
(Saint Petersburg, 3 p.m. ET, ABC)

Sunday, June 13

England vs. Croatia, Group D
(London, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Is this the year for England? World Cup hero and team captain Harry Kane is back with a group of young stars who won’t be shy in attacking opponents. Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic lead a veteran Croatia team that reached the World Cup final in 2018.

England star Harry Kane
England star Harry Kane
AP

Austria vs. North Macedonia, Group C
(Bucharest, noon ET, ESPN)

Netherlands vs. Ukraine, Group C
(Amsterdam, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Monday, June 14

Scotland vs. Czech Republic, Group D
(Glasgow, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Poland vs. Slovakia, Group E
(Saint Petersburg, noon ET, ESPN)

Spain vs. Sweden, Group E
(Seville, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Tuesday, June 15

Hungary vs. Portugal, Group F
(Budapest, noon ET, ESPN)

France vs. Germany, Group F
(Munich, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

The past two World Cup champions are two sides moving in opposite directions. France, the Euros favorite, is tested, talented and smart. Germany is trying to figure out what it is, having struggled at times in recent months.

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Wednesday, June 16

Finland vs. Russia, Group B
(Saint Petersburg, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Turkey vs. Wales, Group A
(Baku, noon ET, ESPN)

Italy vs. Switzerland, Group A
(Rome, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Thursday, June 17

Ukraine vs. North Macedonia, Group C
(Bucharest, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Denmark vs. Belgium, Group B
(Copenhagen, noon ET, ESPN)

Kevin De Bruyne (on the mend from facial fractures) and Romelu Lukaku lead Belgium, the favorite in Group B. But Denmark has the look of a dangerous underdog built on a sturdy defense.

Netherlands vs. Austria, Group C
(Amsterdam, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Friday, June 18

Sweden vs. Slovakia, Group E
(Saint Petersburg, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Croatia vs. Czech Republic, Group D
(Glasgow, noon ET, ESPN)

England vs. Scotland, Group D
(London, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

An ancient rivalry match. England should have the personnel to get by their neighbors to the north, but Scotland has enough Premier League talent to make this interesting.

Saturday, June 19

Hungary vs. France, Group F
(Budapest, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Portugal vs. Germany, Group F
(Munich, noon ET, ESPN)

Spain vs. Poland, Group E
(Seville, 3 p.m. ET, ABC)

Spain has been wracked by chaos due to COVID complications and a roster Luis Enrique picked that has perplexed many at home. That’s not a great formula when facing the world’s most dangerous striker in Robert Lewandowski.

Sunday, June 20

Italy vs. Wales, Group A
(Rome, noon ET, ESPN2)

Switzerland vs. Turkey, Group A
(Baku, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Monday, June 21

North Macedonia vs. Netherlands, Group C
(Amsterdam, noon ET, ESPN)

Ukraine vs. Austria, Group C
(Bucharest, noon ET, ESPN2)

Russia vs. Denmark, Group B
(Copenhagen, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Finland vs. Belgium, Group B
(Saint Petersburg, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Tuesday, June 22

Czech Republic vs. England, Group D
(London, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Croatia vs. Scotland, Group D
(Glasgow, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Wednesday, June 23

Slovakia vs. Spain, Group E
(Seville, noon ET, ESPN)

Sweden vs. Poland, Group E
(Saint Petersburg, noon ET, ESPN2)

Germany vs. Hungary, Group F
(Munich, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Portugal vs. France, Group F
(Budapest, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

No match has more star power. Will Kylian Mbappé and Les Bleus already have the group wrapped up or will Cristiano Ronaldo and the defending Euros champs have a chance to shake up the standings in the pool-play finale?

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About the author

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Donald Langer

Donald is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional cricket and football matches. He is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. He currently caters his skills for the sports section of The Madison Leader Gazette.

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