Three Friday games will take this week’s UEFA 2021 European Championship group play into the weekend. Sweden, Slovakia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, and Scotland will play their second group stage games. Let’s take a look at the best players to watch on each squad.
Sweden managed to draw Spain 0-0 in its first game of the tournament but needs to generate some kind of offense to get out of the group stage. Alexander Isak has the skill to make the net bulge for the Swedes thanks to his perfect mix of pace and cheeky dribbling. He was directly involved in nearly all of Sweden’s quality chances against Spain.
Croatia played England fairly evenly but wasn’t able to put a goal away in its 1-0 loss. Luka Modric is often at the center of everything and for Croatia and will look to bounce back after getting off to a rough start. He skillfully balls from corners, direct free kicks, and open play can direct most defenses, so the Czech Rebuplic should feel very threatened.
England seems likely to win Group D at this point and it's extremely hard to key in on any one player. Raheem Sterling did his job as a number 10 and scored his team’s lone goal against Croatia and has far more pace than Harry Kane and Phil Foden up front.
Euro 2021 Friday, July 18th schedule
Sweden vs. Slovakia
Croatia vs. Czech Republic
England vs. Scotland
Best Bet: Croatia to beat the Czech Republic (+116)
Croatia held its own against the team with the second-best odds to win the tournament last week and the Czech Republic is several steps down from England. The underdogs might have slightly better goalkeeping, but Croatia’s defenders, midfielders, forwards, and wingers are significantly better than what the Czech Republic has to offer. Croatia should assert itself as a major threat against a non-contender.
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