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We are counting down to the 2020 UEFA European Championships on beIN SPORTS. Aarran Summers previews each group and the players to watch ahead of the opening game on Friday 11th June.
For the first time in an international competition, Spain will not feature any Real Madrid players. Sergio Ramos the most notable exclusion, and it is their defence that has question marks going into the European Championships. Aymeric Laporte will likely start his second game for Spain on matchday one following his switch from France, while Pau Torres is likely to partner, having made only seven caps for his nation. Spain does have a strong attack. Thiago Alcantara remains crucial to their chances, but Ferran Torres will be the man to watch, having scored six goals in his ten appearances for Spain.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists will be mixing youth and experience in these European Championships. The Swedes will be out their injured talisman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, relying on the ageing group of Robin Olsen and Andreas Granqvist. On the more youthful side of their squad, Sweden have Alexander Isak, who scored 17 goals for Real Sociedad in La Liga.
Poland arrive at the European Championships with arguably the best player in the world, Robert Lewandowski. The striker broke Gerd Muller's 40-goal Bundesliga record last season, but his international career is far from comprehensive. Remarkably, a player of Lewandowski's goal-scoring prowess has only scored twice in the European Championships. Poland will rely heavily on his influence and goals once again as they look to progress out of a difficult group.
Slovakia are appearing in just their second European Championships. Germany eliminated the Slovaks in the round of 16 stages in 2016. There is an argument that featuring at the 2010 FIFA World Cup – three international tournaments in eleven years is a sign of progress. However, draws to Cyprus and Malta in qualifying were challenging to digest. Still, with Milan Skriniar at the back following his league title success with Inter Milan, they have significant international experience with their veteran captain Marek Hamsik.
Star Man - Robert Lewandowski
Arguably the best player in the competition, the pressure will be on Robert Lewandowski to propel Poland forward.
Player To Watch - Ferran Torres
A young man with a long career ahead of him, Ferran Torres scored 12 goals for Manchester City last season, including four goals in six UEFA Champions League appearances.
Poland v Slovakia (St Petersburg) – 14th June
Spain v Sweden (Seville) – 14th June
Sweden v Slovakia (St Petersburg) – 18th June
Spain v Poland (Seville) – 19th June
Sweden v Poland (St Petersburg) – 23rd June
Slovakia v Spain (Sevilla) – 23rd June