Euro 2020: Three potential dark horses for this year’s European Championship
However, in such tournaments, there is always a room for upsets and underdog stories. The Welsh side, inspired by Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, stunned the whole world in Euro 2016 making their way to the semi-final before losing out to eventual champions Portugal.
Portugal, at that time, were also not an outright favourite for the Euros as well. However, the biggest underdog story of the Euros still remains Greece as they went all the way to lifting the coveted trophy in 2004.
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In this article, we will take a look at three countries who have the potential to replicate the story of Greece this time out in Euro:
Poland are blessed with the best striker in world football right now in the form of Robert Lewandowski who is on the back of 55 goals plus assists for Bayern Munich this season while also managing to put a Bundesliga goal-scoring record of 41 goals in his bag.
The 32-year-old is the greatest footballer Poland have ever produced and this time, he is accompanied by some quality players around him and can potentially better their quarter-final appearance of 2016.
With players like Piotr Zielinski, Mateusz Klich, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Jan Bednarek, Arkadiusz Milik, Dawid Kownacki, wonderkid Kacper Kozlowski at their disposal, this is Poland’s best team in their history.
From a group consisting of Slovakia, Spain and Sweden, they should not face too many problems in making the knockout stages and we have to wait and see how they fare after that.
The Swiss army, managed by Vladimir Petković, have already started their Euro Cup campaign but could manage only a draw against Wales but they have the quality in their squad to be a surprise package of the tournament.
Currently placed 13th in the FIFA World Rankings, Switzerland have hovered around the Top 10 for years now but they have a dismal record in major tournaments. They have not won a knockout tie in a major tournament since the 1938 World Cup, before the group stage was invented and even then, they needed a replay.
However, things could change this time around with the Rossocrociati boasting a really strong squad and having accumulated impressive results over the past couple of years.
Austria have a torrid history in major tournaments particularly in the Euros having never managed to make it past the group stage on two occasions when then they managed to qualify.
In fact, they failed to register a single win in either 2008 or 2016 Euros despite the fact that expectations were big from them in 2016 when they went into the tournament as dark horses after a hugely impressive unbeaten qualifying campaign winning nine and drawing once.
This time out, the burden of expectations is much lesser with Franco Foda’s side enjoying a much underwhelming qualification campaign and that might help Das Team to perform well in the tournament.
They have been drawn in a pretty decent group with the Netherlands, Ukraine and North Macedonia and we might witness an underdog story from the Austria side inspired by the ever-dependable David Alaba.
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