Euro 2020 Group B preview: World No. 1 Belgium meets dark horses (Denmark, Russia) and debutants (Finland)

The top-ranked national team in the game at present, a strongly fancied dark horse, international tournament debutants and the hosts of the 2018 FIFA World Cup: Group B of the European Championships might not be the sexiest on paper but there is certainly no lack of intrigue.

Here is everything you need to know:

Fixtures and how to watch

(All times U.S./Eastern. Stream every game on fuboTV — Try for free)

Saturday, June 12
Denmark vs. Finland (Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, 12 p.m., ESPN/Univision)
Belgium vs. Russia (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 3 p.m., ESPN/Univision)

Wednesday, June 16
Finland vs. Russia (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 9 a.m., ESPN/Univision)

Thursday, June 17
Denmark vs. Belgium (Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, 12 p.m., ESPN/Univision)

Monday, June 21
Russia vs. Denmark (Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, 3 p.m., ESPN/Univision)
Finland vs. Belgium (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 3 p.m., ESPN/Univision)

Group favorites

Third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Belgium come into this summer’s Euro as the favorites to top Group B. Currently ranked No. 1 in the FIFA world rankings, Roberto Martinez’s men are expected to advance in relatively straightforward fashion against the likes of Denmark, Finland, and the Russians. Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard in the Belgian squad make them the team to watch in this group and results could be spectacular if they are fit and firing at the same time.

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In the mix

Denmark are growing in popularity as a dark horse this summer while Russia are ever so unpredictable at international tournaments. The Danes boast a solid squad with a lot of physical prowess and experience while the Russians have only a handful of players playing their trade outside of Russia and therefore are something of an unknown quantity. Without being disrespectful to Finland, this will be their international tournament debut so there is little to base any predictions on as they seek to spring a surprise on their unsuspecting opponents.

One to watch

Denmark vs. Belgium, June 17: The group favorites against the team most likely to give them a run for their money. With the clash taking place in Copenhagen, it is a good chance for the Danes to score a surprise win and

Star players

Belgium: Eden Hazard has traditionally been the star turn here, but Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku are coming into this Euro in much better form. With the Manchester City man a doubt for the Belgians’ opener, the Inter Milan man will be expected to hit the ground running and is therefore their key figure.

Denmark: Christian Eriksen was expected to leave Inter Milan during the winter transfer window yet stuck it out and went on to play a part for the Italians as they secured the Serie A title. Now 29 and key from set pieces, he will be influential as the Danes target a deep run this summer.

Finland: Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki is by far Finland’s most prolific player in their squad and with 30 goals to his name, you would expect that the 31-year-old will have to hit the back of the net a few times if the debutants are to make their experience last longer than the group stage.

Russia: Captain Artem Dzyuba is a controversial figure but also prolific at international with better than one goal every two games and he will need the likes of Aleksei Miranchuk and Aleksandr Golovin to tee him up with chances if the Russians are to impress. 

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