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Euro 2021 Group B Preview: Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ seeking elusive trophy

Belgium is heavily favored in the Group B to advance. Who could join them in the knockout stages of Euro 2021?

Belgium v Wales - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Thorgan Hazard of Belgium celebrates with teammate Romelu Lukaku and Jason Denayer of Belgium after scoring his teams 2nd goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Belgium and Wales on March 24, 2021 at Den Dreef Stadium in Leuven, Belgium. Sporting stadiums around Belgium remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Group B seems fairly straightforward, but look beneath the surface and each team has problems. Some are performance-related and some are mental, but they will all affect how the group shakes out. Let’s take a look at the four teams looking to make it out of Group B.

Denmark

Denmark scored 23 goals in qualifying and had a goal differential of +17, but went 4-4 in eight games. The Danes beat up on the likes of Gibraltar and Georgia, but failed to register much against Switzerland and Ireland. At +260 to win the group and -295 to make it to the knockout round according to DraftKings Sportsbook, Denmark is getting a lot of love for a team that struggled to find its footing against mid-tier squads. This group will be in the mix, but they have performed below the line they’re receiving.

Key Players: Christian Eriksen (Inter Milan), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Martin Braithwaite (Barcelona), Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese)

Finland

Finland is clearly the fourth-best team in this group. Teemu Pukki is capable to producing spectacular moments for his team, but there isn’t much else to look at with this group and it’ll be a miracle if they advance to the knockout stage. The odds support this, with Finland at +950 to make the knockout round and +3000 to win the group.

Key Players: Teemu Pukki (Norwich City), Joel Pohjanpalo (Union Berlin), Jesse Joronen (Brescia), Daniel O’Shaughnessy (HJK)

Belgium

The most intriguing team in the group, Belgium brings a stacked squad to the European championship looking to capture an elusive crown. The country’s “golden generation” of soccer is at the tail-end of its prime and this seems like the best chance to win some silverware. Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and Axel Witsel headline a loaded group. Belgium went through qualifying undefeated and scored 40 goals in 10 games. This team is one of the favorites to win the whole thing, but a history of falling short could lead to additional pressure if the chips are down.

Key Players: Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Harzard (Real Madrid), Tibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund)

Russia

At +525 to win the group and +170 to advance to the knockout stage, Russia is the value team of Group B for bettors. Russia netted 33 goals in 10 qualifying matches, going 8-2-0 in the process. Those two losses came against Belgium. Artem Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin headline a potent attack capable of carrying Russia into the knockout round.

Key Players: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Aleksandr Golovin (Monaco), Denis Cheryshev (Valencia), Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow), Daler Kuzyayev (Zenit Saint Petersburg)

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Euro 2021 Group B Odds

Team To win To win (Jun 15) To win (Jun 19) Top 2 Top 2 (June 15) Top 2 (Jun 19)
Team To win To win (Jun 15) To win (Jun 19) Top 2 Top 2 (June 15) Top 2 (Jun 19)
Belgium -139 -480 -10000 -835 -3335 OTB
Finland +3000 +1050 +1500 +950 +170 +450
Denmark +260 +750 OTB -295 +140 -106
Russia +525 +4000 OTB +170 +190 +125

Group B Schedule (all times ET)

  • Saturday, June 12, 12:00 p.m. Denmark vs. Finland (Parken Stadium, Copenhagen)
  • Saturday, June 12, 3:00 p.m. Belgium vs. Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Wednesday, June 16, 9:00 a.m. Finland vs. Russia (St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Thursday, June 17, 12:00 p.m. Denmark vs. Belgium (Parken Stadium, Copenhagen)
  • Monday, June 21, 3:00 p.m.: Finland vs. Belgium (St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Monday, June 21, 3:00 p.m.: Russia vs. Denmark (Parken Stadium, Copenhagen)

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