England top group D
England qualified top of their group courtesy of a 1-0 win over Czech Republic at Wembley, and 24 hours later, the full benefit of finishing top has come to light.
We’ll meet again 🏴🇩🇪
The #ThreeLions will take on Germany at @wembleystadium in the Round of 16 at #EURO2020! pic.twitter.com/XtzFKahHMe
— England (@England) June 23, 2021
Although the initial reward seems more pain than pleasure, hosting Germany at Wembley, the benefit is that England have ended up on the more favourable side of the tournament tree.
Easier route to the final?
Should the Three Lions make it past their old foe and into the quarter-finals of the competition, they will face one of Sweden or Ukraine, who face off at Hampden Park on the same day as England and Germany.
Win that, and they can face four sides; The Netherlands, Czech Republic (who they have already beaten), Wales or Denmark.
THE ROAD TO THE #EURO2020 FINAL 🏆 pic.twitter.com/J95enrmGMM
— Goal (@goal) June 23, 2021
Obviously, none of these games could be considered “easy” by any stretch of the imagination, but had they finished 2nd in the group, they would have found themselves on the “wrong side”.
This side of the draw includes Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, and France, with England needing to have beaten three of these sides to make it to the final.
England’s potential route to the final:
Last 16: Germany
Quarter-final: Sweden / Ukraine
Semi-final: Netherlands/Denmark/Wales/Czech Republic. pic.twitter.com/5Uh1AUI0UM
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) June 23, 2021
When put side-by-side with the half of the draw that England managed to end up on, it is clear to see that England have dodged several potentially massive bullets.
Were they to make it all the way to the final, they would of course have to play one of those sides, but they would stand much more chance of beating them over 90 minutes than doing so to three different top sides.