UEFA Euro 2020 Group E preview: Real Madrid-less Spain, no Zlatan for Sweden and Lewandowski’s Poland

One of the most decorated nations in European Championships history, a nation without their talismanic striker and another pinning their hopes on their golden goal-getter while the major outsiders had their key man back in Europe to prepare for this summer: Group E is one for the nostalgic.

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)

Monday, June 14
Poland vs. Slovakia (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN/Univision)
Spain vs. Sweden (La Cartuja, Seville, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN/Univision)

Friday, June 18
Sweden vs. Slovakia (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN/Univision)

Saturday, June 19
Spain vs. Poland (La Cartuja, Seville, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN/Univision)

Wednesday, June 23
Slovakia vs. Spain (La Cartuja, Seville, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN/Univision)
Sweden vs. Poland (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN/Univision)

Group favorites

Joint-record three-time winners with Germany, Spain are the favorites in Group E ahead of Sweden, Poland, and Slovakia. However, Luis Enrique’s Roja are undergoing a rejuvenation and are therefore not among the hot favorites for the title. With no Real Madrid players in the squad, this is not the Spanish side of old and it might take a while before they are back challenging for title No. 4. That said, they do benefit from being based on home soil for the entirety of the group stage.

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In the mix

Sweden and Poland are similar in that both have an ageing talisman in attack, but while Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out a few weeks ago and had only just returned to the international setup after coming out of retirement, Robert Lewandowski is available and key for the Poles. The Scandinavians are more of a team without Ibrahimovic, but they lack the star quality of a Lewandowski while Poland have that ability but would arguably love the sort of solidity Sweden enjoy.

One to watch

The meeting between Spain and Poland in Seville could be key for both sides as Spain start with a tough clash with Sweden and Poland will fancy their chances against Slovakia in Saint Petersburg: Group E should take shape after the second round of games.

Star players

Spain: As one of the most experienced players in the squad, Thiago Alcantara will be expected to step up and inspire his teammates to victory while David De Gea, Cesar Azpilicueta and Jordi Alba are the other experienced heads.

Sweden: With Ibrahimovic out and plenty of older heads, Emil Forsberg will be looked to for inspiration while Marcus Berg is the most prolific goal score. However, there are some very bright young Swedish talents emerging, including Henrik Larsson’s son Jordan of Spartak Moscow.

Poland: Look no further that Lewandowski — Bayern’s serial scorer will be key to any hopes that the Polish have of getting out of the group.

Slovakia: Marek Hamsik might be getting older, but he remains key for his country and will complete a move to Trabzonspor in Turkey after a brief spell in Sweden to prepare for this.

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