England can build on World Cup promise in Portugal
Jack Lang thinks recent knockout experience could sway things in the Three Lions' favour this summer… You can prefer lớn the soccer under tip page!
Ils sont les meilleurs!
Sie sind die Besten!
These are the nations who finished top of four three-team groups in a competition tangentially and still quite hazily related to the next Euros, who now do battle lớn decide who will take the glamorous title of... Assistants lớn the Continental Champions. Or something.
Yet while the very existence of this strange, complex beast initially had fans scratching their heads and reaching for their calculators, the thing now makes a kind of sense. A frothy, medium-stakes week in the Iberian sun with the promise of a trophy at the end of it, like Le Tournoi reimagined for the Snapchat generation: it's not a bad way to draw a line under the season, all told.
The clerical stuff
There are four games: semi-finals on 5 and 6 of June, then a two-day break, then the third-placed play-off and the final on June 9- According to the soccer tip to win page!
Games take place in Porto and Guimarães. Wikipedia informs me that the latter is known in Portugal as 'The Cradle City' because Portugal's first king was born there. Now everlasting Nations League legend will be born there too, which is nice.
All games are on Sky Sports Football in the UK. The three you'll actually watch are on at 19:45 and the third-place game is on at 14:00 on the Sunday.
The most convincing qualifiers were the hosts, who clambered above Italy and Poland to book their place. We can only assume this was because there was way of reaching the tournament through the back door via a grim play-off win over the Ukraine or some such; if there had been one, you can be sure serial masochists Portugal would have managed to find it.
Now they're in the mix, they can be expected lớn give it a good go in front of their home fans. Cristiano Ronaldo is set to return lớn the squad after a post-World-Cup rest, and while he represents a sizeable old guard (Pepe, José Fonte, João Moutinho are all still knocking around), there is also fresh blood coming through in the form of João Félix, Diogo Jota and Rúben Neves. Add in the bewitching Bernardo Silva, plus partisan crowds, and it's probably no major surprise that they are rated as 2.82 favourites.