Euro 2020 Group E: This is arguably the weakest Spain side in a generation

Team guide: Can Robert Lewandowski replicate his Bayern Munich form for Poland?

Pau Torres has the potential to be a key player at the heart of the Spanish defence. File photograph: Jose Breton/Getty Images

Pau Torres has the potential to be a key player at the heart of the Spanish defence. File photograph: Jose Breton/Getty Images

 

Spain

Odds: 9-1
Previous best: Winners 2008 and 2012
Prospects: On paper this is arguably the weakest Spain side in a generation, with no Real Madrid players and no Sergio Ramos. Regardless, they will always be a threat.
Manager: Spain’s air of invincibility has long gone – if Luis Enrique can coach a young squad into the latter stages he will have done a fine job.
Key player: He is young and only has seven caps to his name but Villarreal’s Pau Torres can be Spain’s long-term defensive rock.

Sweden

Odds: 80-1
Previous best: Semi-finalists 1992
Prospects: Sweden finished behind Spain in qualification and would settle for a similar outcome in Group E. They don’t have many superstars but have some exciting prospects to complement their spine.
Manager: Guiding Sweden to the 2018 World Cup finals was a fine achievement by Janne Andersson.
Key player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return has been thwarted by injury so 21-year-old Juventus attacker Dejan Kulusevski could provide the X-factor.

Poland

Odds: 80-1
Previous best: Quarter-finalists 2016
Prospects: A ‘one-man team’ with a new manager, Poland will obviously be reliant on Robert Lewandowski but he is aided by an emerging, youthful core.
Manager: Portuguese legend Paulo Sousa replaced Jerzy Brzeczek in January – he’s overseen a draw with Hungary, a win over Andorra and a defeat to England.
Key player: Lewandowski scored a ridiculous 48 goals in 40 fixtures for Bayern this season – he’s only managed two in his three major international tournaments.

Slovakia

Odds: 500-1
Previous best: Last-16 2016
Prospects: Rank outsiders, Slovakia qualified by virtue of playoff wins over the Republic and Northern Ireland. They also beat Scotland in the Nations League.
Manager: Stefan Tarkovic was part of the Slovakia coaching staff in 2016 and took the big job shortly after Slovakia’s penalty shootout win over Ireland last October.
Key player: Milan Skriniar is among Europe’s best centre-halves and helped Internazionale to this year’s Serie A title.

Fixtures

Monday June 14th - Poland vs Slovakia (5pm, St Petersburg); Spain vs Sweden (8pm, Seville)

Friday June 18th - Sweden vs Slovakia (2pm, St Petersburg)

Saturday June 19th - Spain vs Poland (8pm, Seville)

Wednesday June 23rd - Slovakia vs Spain (5pm, Seville); Sweden vs Poland (5pm, St Petersburg)

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