Which eight teams are most likely to be eliminated from Euro 2020 at the group stages?

You probably aren’t giving much thought to Euro 2020 just yet, not with the Premier League’s top four scrap building to a crescendo and an all-English Champions League final in the diary.

But maybe you should start consider how this summer’s festival of international football will play out, especially with sign-up to Dream Team Euros now available.

It doesn’t take a fantasy football genius to realise those in contention to win the £50,000 jackpot will not be selecting players from the whipping boys.

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Eight of the 24 teams will be eliminated after the group stages with the top two from each of the six groups progressing to the round of 16 alongside the four best third-place finishers.

So which nations are most likely fall at the first hurdle?

GROUP A

  • Italy (ranked 7th in the world)
  • Switzerland (13th)
  • Wales (17th)
  • Turkey (29th)

Wales are one of those teams who have constructed their fixture schedule to give them a favourable rankings in recent years and it’s generally worked well for them.

But Gareth Bale and co will face a deceptively tough test, especially with Turkish hero Burak Yilmaz heading into the tournament in such rampant form.

GROUP B

  • Belgium (ranked 1st in the world)
  • Denmark (10th)
  • Russia (38th)
  • Finland (54th)

Roberto Martinez will be targeting three wins from three in relatively favourable group for Belgium.

It’s hard to see Finland making it through but it’s unlikely Russia will perform to the level they did on home soil three years ago.

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GROUP C

  • Netherlands (ranked 16th in the world)
  • Austria (23rd)
  • Ukraine (24th)
  • North Macedonia (62nd)

This looks set to be an extremely competitive group between the three stronger sides, especially after Virgil van Dijk ruled himself out on contention.

North Macedonia did brilliantly well to qualify and will be satisfied with that as an achievement – although they did upset Germany in a World Cup qualifier back in March so their potential for disruption should not be underestimated.

GROUP D

  • England (ranked 4th in the world)
  • Croatia (14th)
  • Czech Republic (40th)
  • Scotland (44th)

We fancy Scotland to qualify for the round of 16 by virtue of respectable third-place finish in the groups.

Czech Republic are not the force they once were and the derby-esque nature of their clash with England could play into their hands.

GROUP E

  • Spain (ranked 6th in the world)
  • Sweden (18th)
  • Poland (21st)
  • Slovakia (36th)

Sweden and Poland have the superstar services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski to call upon in what we expect to be a tussle for second-place.

Slovakia can be difficult to breakdown on their day but recent draws against Malta and Cyprus make them favourites to foot the bill in Group E.

GROUP F

  • France (ranked 2nd in the world)
  • Portugal (5th)
  • Germany (12th)
  • Hungary (37th)

Calling the winner of the undoubted Group of Death is a tough task but identifying which side will fly home early in seemingly more straightforward.

Hungary were dealt a brutal hand in the draw and will have to play out of their skin to reach the knockout stages.

Saying that, Germany lost 6-0 to Spain recently and were turned over by North Macedonia…

Confidently predicting all eight eliminated sides is a fool’s game as there will unquestionably be some unexpected drama in the opening stages of the tournament – there always is – but here’s our unlucky eight for now…

  • Wales
  • Finland
  • North Macedonia
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Hungary
  • Russia
  • Austria

So those are the teams we think you should stay clear of when picking your Dream Team Euros XI (although Gareth Bale is a tempting option) but from which sides should you be liberally selecting?

If the Group of Death is too hard to call then Italy, Belgium, England and Spain look like promising sources.

But can you really afford to pick a team without any Frenchmen? Probably not.

Good job you can make as many changes as you like before Euro 2020 gets underway on June 11th.

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