OK, let’s proceed on the assumption that we are interested, if only slightly. After all, several Liverpool players will be involved (of which more soon), even if our main concern is that they don’t get injured or knackered rather than how they and their teams actually do.
Euro 2020 begins a year late on Friday, June 11th, kick off 20.00 UK time, with Italy v Turkey in Rome the curtain-raiser, the prospect of which should leave plenty of surplus adrenaline for future encounters like Finland v Russia and Ukraine v North Macedonia.
There were 11 venues at the last count, including Wembley, Hampden Park in Glasgow, Dublin, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich, Copenhagen, Seville, St.Petersburg, Budapest, Bucharest, Baku (despite no local involvement for the last two), and the Alpha Centauri star system, as UEFA take their mission to drive the game’s spread to its logical conclusion.
Host cities are estimated to earn £102 million in revenues this summer. Stadium capacity restrictions have cut projected revenues by a combined £169 million.
London is poised to make the highest amount of money (’twas ever thus) over the course of the tournament at £23.8 million, followed by Saint Petersburg (£22.3 million), and Budapest (£17.5 million). Amsterdam is estimated to make the least at £2.7 million.
There are 24 teams split into six groups of four, including three UK teams – England, Scotland and Wales, England and Scotland being in the same group – but no Irish presence from either side of the border. Other notable absentees are former winners Greece and former heroes Iceland. North Macedonia make their debut in international competition.
Speaking of Liverpool players involved, as I was earlier, there are seven in all, with Wijnaldum technically no longer counting (and it stings a bit to say that) and Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Gomez not available through injury. Jordan Henderson is included in England’s squad despite not having played since the Anfield derby and only making the bench for the last game against Palace, so there’s a worry there. Following Trent’s withdrawal with a quadriceps injury, England decided that three right-backs was probably sufficient and replaced him with a centre-back, Brighton’s Ben White.
Our other full-back, Andy Robertson, will be lining up for Scotland, and Harry Wilson and Neco Williams are in the Wales squad. Divock Origi did not make the Belgian squad, but our new old boy, Ozan Kabak, made Turkey’s.
The others are Xerdan Shaqiri (Switzerland), Thiago Alcantara (Spain) and Diogo Jota (Portugal).
England start on Sunday June 13th v Croatia at 14.00 – kick-off times range from 14.00, 17.00 and 20.00 UK time, with three games a day at those times on most days during the group stage for maximum TV overkill and beer and barbecue sales from supermarkets. All England group games are at Wembley.
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