Euro 2020 team profile: Group D – Czech Republic and Croatia
Post Credit – MC Nitro
Head coach: Jaroslav Šilhavý (Czech Republic)
Captain: Vladimir Darida
Most capped player: Petr Čech (124)
Top scorer: Jan Koller (55)
FIFA ranking: 40
European Championship appearances: 7 (first in 1996)
Best run: Winners 1976 (As Czechoslovakia)
Runners-up 1996 (Czech Republic)
Group rivals: England, Croatia, and Scotland.
Key players: Tomáš Vaclik, Ondřej Čelůstka, Vladimir Darida, Tomáš Souček, Jakub Jankto, Matěj Vydra, Patrik Schick.
Status: Since gaining independence from Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic have been ever-present at European championships. In 2016, their journey ended in the group stages.
They’ll however be looking to better their record of the last tournament and probably match their best record as an independent nation when they were losing finalists in 1996. Do they have what it takes to go that far? I don’t think so.
Verdict: Fingers crossed.
Head coach: Zlatko Dalić
Captain: Luka Modrić
Most capped player: Luka Modrić (136)
Top scorer: Davor Šuker (45)
FIFA ranking: 14
European Championship appearances: 6 (first in 1996)
Best run: Quarter-finals (1996, 2008)
Group rivals: England, Scotland, Czech Republic
Key players: Luka Modrić, Domagoj Vida, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pasalić, Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić.
Status: Since Zlatko Dalić took over from Ante Cačić in 2017, Croatia have established themselves as one of the most formidable national teams in European football.
Their rise has seen them reach the final of the World Cup in 2018, losing to France in a hugely impressive tournament. There’s nothing much to say about this fast-rising country. They’re capable of pushing England hard for a spot at the summit of Group D.
Verdict: Expect them to make the knockout rounds with England.