Today at Euro 2020: Group B scenarios explored as Group C awaits race for 2nd

Today at Euro 2020: Group B scenarios explored as Group C awaits race for 2nd

Who is playing at Euro 2020 on Monday?

Ukraine vs Austria – 6 pm

North Macedonia vs Netherlands – 6 pm

Finland vs Belgium – 9 pm

Russia vs Denmark – 9 pm

What is the state of play?

There are some known knowns in today’s UEFA 2020 matches, and some known unknowns as well.

North Macedonia, for example, know they are out of the tournament today, after losses to both Ukraine and Austria. The Netherlands, by contrast, know they are through.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that tonight’s match will be a washout. The Netherlands don’t have another game after this until their last 16 clash next Saturday and don’t need to hold anything back.

North Macedonia, meanwhile, will be looking to engage in some last-minute giant-killing, not least because it is Goran Pandev’s last international match and his teammates will be minded to give the playmaker a good send-off.

But the other Group C match at 6 pm CET Monday, Ukraine versus Austria, is likely to be a far more tense affair – both sides have everything to play for as both could seal second place and make it into the last 16 alongside the Netherlands.

For Ukraine, a draw will suffice. Austria need a win or they will take third and hope to be one of the four third-place qualifiers.

Today at Euro 2020: Group B scenarios explored as Group C awaits race for 2nd
Finland’s Joel Pohjanpalo, centre, attends a training session on the eve of the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Finland and Belgium in Zelenogorsk.Dmitri Lovetsky/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Over in Group B for the 9 pm match, it is Belgium that are sitting pretty after a storming Euro 2020 so far, which has seen them beat Russia 3-0 and Denmark 2-1. Tonight, the Belgians play Finland in St Petersburg and only need to draw to guarantee top spot.

Any of the other three teams in the group, Denmark, Finland, and Russia, could go through in second place.

In one scenario, Russia loses to Denmark and the Finns eke out a draw against Belgium, meaning Finland will go through on goal difference in their first international tournament. A little less likely would be the Finns beating Belgium, securing their place in the last 16.

Denmark, bottom of the group and without a win, could also go through if they beat Russia and Finland lose, but it will depend not only on how many goals they can score but how many the other teams score in the other game.

Finally, and this is where the unknown unknowns make their appearance, there are several scenarios in which Russia, Denmark, and Finland all finish on three points and have equal goal difference, and who goes through becomes extremely complicated.

Helpfully, UEFA has outlined what would happen in this scenario in this article.