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Euro 2021 Group E Preview: Spain favored to win, Poland and Sweden will battle for second place

Spain are heavily favored in Group E to advance. Who could join them in the knockout stages of Euro 2021?

SPAIN-SEVILLE-FOOTBALL-FIFA WORLD CUP 2022-QUALIFIERS-SPAIN VS KOSOVO Xinhua/Pablo Morano via Getty Images

Group E in this year’s UEFA Euro competition promises plenty of action as Spain is the easy favorite, while Sweden and Poland are expected to battle it out to make it in the top two. Slovakia is the overwhelming underdog, but as we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen in a major tournament. Let’s dive into the teams and see how they shape up ahead of the competition.

Spain

The three-time European Champions are the favorites to win the group by a mile, as they have the most decorated history and the strongest squad of anyone in the group. Of course, the big news coming out of Luis Enrique’s side is that longtime stalwart defender Sergio Ramos has been dropped from the squad in favor of Manchester City’s 26-year-old Aymeric Laporte, who recently switched allegiance from France to Spain. Other big names are missing from the Euro roster as well, including Kepa, Sergi Roberto, Hector Bellerin, Jesus Navas, and Sergio Reguilon. Despite that, Enrique still put together an incredibly talented roster with the likes of David de Gea, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, and several other big household names.

Key players: Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), David de Gea (Manchester United), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Rodri (Manchester City)

Sweden

The Swedes are heading into their seventh Euro appearance where their highest finish came in 1992 when they made it to the semi-finals. They’ve qualified for the last six tournaments in a row and will look to make a splash in Group E this year. Most notably missing from the roster is icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who announced his retirement from international football but ended up reversing the decision. The 39-year-old striker is battling a knee injury and has been ruled out for this summer’s competition. Sweden only lost one of their 10 Euro Qualifying matches, and unfortunately for them it was a 3-0 loss to Spain, who they’ll have to face again in Group E.

Key players: Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad), Sebastian Larsson (AIK), Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig)

Poland

Poland will be looking for redemption after the disastrous showing they put out during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. At the time, they were ranked number eight in the world and were expected to win their group which consisted of Senegal, Colombia, and Japan. Instead of cruising to a win, they lost their first two games — 2-1 to Senegal followed by a 3-0 loss to Colombia which was the nail in their coffin. They beat Japan in their final game but it didn’t matter as they finished dead last in their group and made an early exit. The 21st-ranked squad will look to bounce back and prove their worth in this tournament, led by Bayern Munich superstar striker Robert Lewandowski.

Key players: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus), Kamil Piatkowski (Rakow Czestochowa), Krzysztof Piatek (Hertha Berlin)

Slovakia

Slovakia are expected to finish last in the group as their form has dipped in recent months, losing at home to Czech Republic and Israel in Nations League play which resulted in relegation from League B. They’ll have a giant mountain to climb if they want to advance to the knockout rounds, and they’ll have to do it without the likes of Real Salt Lake star Albert Rusnak who was left off of Stefan Tarkovic’s 26-man roster for the upcoming tournament.

Key players: Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan), Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli), Patrik Hrosovsky (Genk), Laszlo Benes (FC Augsburg)

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Euro 2021 Group E 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)
Spain -286 -230 -122 -1250 -835 -420
Sweden +650 +525 +155 -104 -162 -200
Slovakia +1700 +575 +1400 +475 +125 +380
Poland +700 +1900 +2200 +102 +400 +135

Group E Schedule

  • Monday June 14, 12:00 p.m. Poland vs. Slovakia (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg)
  • Monday June 14, 3:00 p.m. Spain vs. Sweden (La Cartuja, Seville)
  • Friday June 18, 9:00 a.m. Sweden vs. Slovakia (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg)
  • Saturday June 19, 3:00 p.m. Spain vs. Poland (La Cartuja, Seville)
  • Wednesday June 23, 12:00 p.m. Slovakia vs. Spain (La Cartuja, Seville)
  • Wednesday June 23, 12:00 p.m. Sweden vs. Poland (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg)

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