Why Spain is the biggest favourite in Group E of the tournament
Group E is one of the groups that people tend to overlook at the European Championships. Spain is the biggest favourite but the other teams can pull off surprise upsets. Poland, Sweden, and Slovakia have good players but it will be difficult to beat the favourites.
Spain is coached by Luis Enrique who is credited with helping the team recover from its disastrous run in the previous World Cup. The coach has made big changes with the team because he has embraced the youth movement. There are more players in their early 20s compared to the past few years’ squads.
He even left out veteran star Sergio Ramos which further proves Luis trusts his youngsters. The former Barça boss sees it as a potential star lineup.
‘There have been some young players who have surprised us’, Luis said. ‘We still have the potential to grow a lot more. I don't know what will happen, yet I don't deny that we are favourites (in the group), but not because of what we have done, but rather for the achievements of those who came before us. I am not afraid of this challenge’.
Can the other teams pull off surprises?
Coach Janne Andersson has a tough task ahead of him for the Sweden squad. Zlatan Ibrahimović will miss the event since he suffered a knee injury. He ended his five-year retirement from Sweden but he is unfortunately sidelined for the European Championships.
Zlatan’s exit can be a blessing in disguise since other players will step up in his absence. Alexander Isak is the star player for this team and he has the chance to break out for this squad. He will be the key to success if they can give him the key passes to score.
For Poland, they are similarly dependent on one player. Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world and he’s fresh off a 41-goal season in the Bundesliga which is a big record. If he can keep that performance level up, you can expect Poland to compete and become a dark horse.
Lastly, Slovakia is the biggest underdog of this group. Their star player Milan Škriniar will be the key to success on defence. However, they need to perform better overall since Slovakia has the chance to upset the favourites. They are not favoured but anything is possible in this event.
Can Spain return to their strong form?
Gerard Moreno will be the key to success for Spain because he’s their most reliable striker. He was stellar for Villarreal in the 2020-21 season since he scored 30 goals across all events. However, he’s still unproven for Spain despite he’s 29 years of age. Álvaro Morata will most likely be Luis’ main man up top but he’s not known for top performances.
Luis will make sure that this team will be strong for the event. Marcos Llorente will be an unsung hero since he doesn’t play a flashy style. Hopefully, people can realize that he’s one of their best stars. The same goes for Aymeric Laporte who made the move from France to Spain. He will be the key to this team since he’s a strong defender.
It will be interesting to watch this group and how it plays out. Spain is the favourite but the other teams can pounce on the chance to win the European Championships this year.
Words: Cholo Martin