Group D fixtures, UK kick-off times and TV coverage
June 13 – England 1-0 Croatia. June 14 – Scotland 0-2 Czech Republic. June 18 – Croatia 1-1 Czech Republic. England 0-0 Scotland. June 22 – Czech Republic 0-1 England. Croatia 3-1 Scotland.
England: In part due to their success in reaching the 2018 World Cup semi-final, England go into Euro 2020 second-favourites behind only world champions France – so expectations are inevitably high this summer.
The Three Lions don’t boast the best record in the competition, yet they impressed in qualifying, finishing top of Group A with seven wins from their eight matches. A shock 2-1 defeat to group rivals Czech Republic was the only blemish on their near-perfect record.
Croatia: Croatia will be hoping for a repeat of their success in the 2018 World Cup, which saw them progress all the way to the final, yet the chances of the same happening again this summer look slim.
Their recent form hasn’t been great, although they did impressively top Group E in qualification – losing only one of eight games (W5, D2, L1), despite competing in the group to feature the most teams playing in the finals (Croatia, Wales, Hungary and Slovakia).
Czech Republic: Runners-up behind England in Group A, the Czech Republic will be dreaming of repeating their success of reaching the final of this tournament in 1996 – when the showpiece match was last played at Wembley.
The same outcome looks unlikely, although they do have a good European Championship pedigree, finishing third in 2004 and reaching the quarter-finals in 2012.
Scotland: Scotland’s third-place finish in qualifying Group I wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the finals – but they were still able to participate in the play-offs after winning a Nations League group containing Israel and Albania.
Dramatic penalty victories in both the semi-final and final saw them secure a spot in this summer’s finals, ending their 23-year wait to play at a major tournament.
Croatia and Czech Republic are at the biggest disadvantage as they’ll face both England and Scotland in their respective national stadiums, on either side of their own meeting in the second round of fixtures.
England get to play all three of their group stage games at Wembley, while Scotland will play two of their three matches at Hampden Park.
Pre-tournament form guide
England’s form ahead of Sunday’s opener vs Croatia couldn’t be better, with their 1-0 victory over Romania making it six straight victories for Southgate’s men.
They’ve scored 15 goals in that sequence, conceding just one in return.
Things have been less impressive for opponents Croatia who have suffered a notable decline since their success at the 2018 World Cup.
They come into the tournament having managed to win just three of their previous nine matches (W2, D2, L5).
Czech Republic have won four of their previous 9 encounters (W4, D1, L4), with one of those losses coming to Scotland last year.
Steve Clarke would happily take a repeat of that scoreline when the two teams meet again later this month.
His team should be relatively confident heading into Monday’s opener, given that they’ve avoided defeat in each of their previous five matches (W2, D3).
The battle between rivals England and Scotland in the teams’ second fixture is undoubtedly the pick of the group.
Steeped in history, the first ever game between the two took place all the way back in 1872, and is recognised by FIFA as the first-ever international football match.
There have been some great clashes between the neighbouring nations over the years and with what’s at stake this time, the latest instalment has the potential to be a cracker.
In the best form and benefiting from home advantage, England are unsurprisingly hot favourites to progress into the knockout phase, and we’re confident they’ll do so as Group D winners.
It’s hard to predict who will follow them, with a fair case to be made for any of the other three remaining nations in the group. But we’re tipping Scotland to win that battle and make themselves heroes in the eyes of the Tartan Army.