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EURO 2021 GROUP B: Schedule, Table, Favourites & Preview

Group B of Euro 2021 sees two former winners of the competition and a finalist drawn against a debut nation. Belgium are the big favourites in the group and amongst the front-runners to lift the trophy. 

The number 1 ranked nation in the world is eager to get further than ever before in a major tournament after some disappointment in recent years. Many of Belgium’s star players have had excellent seasons and they’ll hope to carry that forward here.

Denmark and Russia will push them all the way in the quest for qualification. These are two of the tournament’s host nations which will give them an edge in their fixtures. These two nations have won this competition before but success has eluded them for some time.

Finland round off Group B. They’re making their European Championship debut and their first appearance at a major tournament outside of the Olympics. They beat the odds in qualifying and are eager to do the same here.

EURO 2021 GROUP B TABLE

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EURO 2021 GROUP B SCHEDULE AND TIPS

 

Date Game Time (UK) Venue
12/6/21 Denmark vs Finland 17:00 Parken, Copenhagen
12/6/21 Belgium vs Russia 20:00 Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg
16/6/21 Finland vs Russia 14:00 Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg
17/6/21 Denmark vs Belgium 17:00 Parken, Copenhagen
21/6/21 Russia vs Denmark 20:00 Parken, Copenhagen
21/6/21 Finland vs Belgium 20:00 Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg


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As with every other group at this European Championship, the schedule favours the host nations. Denmark and Russia have the honour of sharing the hosting rights for these matches. They’ll take place at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen and the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, a short two-hour flight away. 

Denmark host Finland in the opening match of this group, the third fixture in the overall tournament. Belgium take on Russia in Saint Petersburg in the other match.

If things go the way Belgium want then qualification should already be wrapped up by the time the third round of fixtures are played. They take on Finland in match three, leaving Russia and Denmark to play it out in Copenhagen. The Danes have won the hosting rights in that match which will suit them. All of the nations apart from Finland will set up camp on home soil. Finland will stay in Saint Petersburg during the tournament as they play two matches there. 

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EURO 2021 GROUP B ODDS AND FAVOURITES

Euro 2021 Group B Winner Odds

Bookmaker
Russia 67.0 51.0 N/A N/A N/A
Belgium 1.05 1.02 1.03 1.03 1.01
Denmark N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Finland 11.0 12.0 9.0 12.0 16.0

Euro 2021 Winner Odds

Bookmaker
Russia 101.0 101.0 91.0 91.0 201.0
Belgium 7.50 7.0 7.5 7.5 7.0
Denmark 51.0 51.0 67.0 67.0 51.0
Finland 501.0 401.0 501.0 501.0 201.0

*Odds as at 18th June 2021

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Euro 2021 Group B Preview

It’s an interesting group. Belgium are obviously the favourites to secure top spot and qualification but it will be fascinating to see how they get on. Roberto Martinez has a fine record as manager of the side known as the Red Devils. Belgium have won 39 of the 50 matches he has managed, losing just four. That 78% win percentage is the highest of any Belgium manager that has been in charge for more than one match.

They’ll take some stopping. Belgium are getting closer and closer to glory with each passing tournament. The quarter-finals in Euro 2016 gave way to the semis in the 2018 World Cup. The final is the aim for them here and it’s hard to bet against them getting there or at least coming close.

Denmark are the second side in this group and they will take some stopping. They have quality players throughout the team and had a solid qualifying campaign as well. They finished just a point behind Switzerland in Qualifying Group D and few nations scored more goals than them.

Russia want to push the other nations all the way. They had a brilliant showing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup that they hosted but now is the time to create some consistency. They also impressed in qualifying, finishing just behind the flawless Belgium team.

Finland are the surprise package in Group B. They are taking part in their first European Championship and their first ever major tournament outside of the Olympic Games. Success for them is a lower bar as they have arguably achieved their goals by getting to this stage. They finished second in Qualifying Group J behind an Italy side that won every match.  

 

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Euro 2021 Group B Prediction

It’s clear that Belgium are the big favourites to win this group and to qualify for the next stage of the competition. Roberto Martinez’s men have perhaps the best squad of players in the entire competition and are the top-ranked side in the world. 

It’s no surprise to see that Belgium are the favourites to top the group. They are just 1.75 to top Group B after three matches. They’re as short as 1.03 to qualify with some bookmakers but the best price is 1.10. 

Denmark are out at 4.00 to win the group as the second-favourites but are short at 1.33 to qualify. There is value on the former but not the latter.

We are backing Belgium to win Group A at 1.75.

EURO 2021 GROUP B: BELGIUM

FIFA World Ranking Best Result at European Championships Last European Championship result (2016) Coach
#1 Runners-up (1980) Quarterfinals Roberto Martinez

It’s a massive tournament for Roberto Martinez and Belgium. They’ve been building to this point for some time as the Red Devils look to take advantage of this golden generation of talent. They’ve been getting progressively better after reaching the quarter-finals in 2016 and the semis at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They now want to go one step further and to ensure a first major tournament win in the nation’s history.

Belgium are stacked with some of the best footballers on the planet. Captain Eden Hazard hasn’t had the best time at Real Madrid but Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku have had some of the best seasons of their careers. 

They have proven winners throughout the squad who represent some of the biggest clubs on the planet. Success has eluded them for too long and that cannot happen forever. This group of players is too good not to win at least one major tournament and now is the time considering that their two most important players – De Bruyne and Lukaku – are both in their footballing prime. 

Both players featured for the Red Devils in the last edition of this tournament. They were part of the team that was handed a quarter-final exit by Wales in 2016. That led to the dismissal of former coach Marc Wilmots and Martinez’s arrival. That won’t stand for the side ranked number one in the world. Their title push needs to start with a strong performance in the group.

Euro 2021 Group B, Belgium, Prediction

That’s exactly what we should see from them. Belgium are on an excellent run of form and look settled heading into the European Championship. They have perhaps the best squad in the whole competition and their key players are in top form for their clubs.

That all bodes well for Roberto Martinez and the Red Devils. They’ve improved steadily over the last few years and now look ready to make that next step. 

The only thing that counts against them is the schedule. Belgium aren’t a host nation and have elected to set up camp on home soil. That will mean two return trips to Saint Petersburg for a couple of their group stage matches and one short journey to Copenhagen and back. Even with that inconvenience, they should have enough to get through unscathed.

Belgium Group Prediction: 1st

EURO 2021 GROUP B: DENMARK

FIFA World Ranking Best Result at European Championships Last European Championship result (2016) Coach
#16 Winner (1992) Did not qualify Kasper Hjulmand

Denmark have had more success in this competition than their group rivals but the expectations for this tournament are much lower. They’re here after an impressive qualification campaign that saw them finish second behind Switzerland in Group D. They were just a point behind their rivals after eight matches.

But Denmark have been here before. They are one of the few nations to have won this competition after their remarkable achievement in 1992. The Denmark national team hasn’t quite been able to replicate that feat since then. Their best finish in the last 30 years was the quarter-finals in 2004.

But there is a lot of quality in this Denmark team. They have players representing the biggest and best clubs in Italy, Spain, England, and Germany. Christian Eriksen, Thomas Delaney, Simon Kjær, Martin Braithwaite, and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg have all played at the highest level. 

But now is the time for this generation to deliver. They made it to the round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup but they’ve reached the knockout stage of this competition just once since they won it in 1992. Manager Kasper Hjulmand has worked with this group for under a year. They’ve won eight of 11 matches under him, losing just two. 

Those two defeats came against one of their Group B rivals. Denmark played Belgium in the UEFA Nations League back in September 2020. That was Hjulmand’s first match in charge and they lost 2-0. The result was the same when they met in the same competition a few months later. They’ll hope for better after some encouraging results including a 1-0 win against England at Wembley back in October 2020. The foundation is there for them to impress in this tournament.

Euro 2021 Group B, Denmark, Prediction

But will they do it? Denmark have some quality players but their record in major tournaments over the last few decades has been disappointing. They could effectively be playing for second place in this group if their match with Belgium goes the same way as their two fixtures against the Red Devils did last year.

But the draw has been kind to them. Russia and Finland will test them in the group stage but if they can get past those two sides and finish in second place, things will open up. The round of 16 match will be against the runner-up in Group A, probably one of Switzerland, Turkey or Wales. The quarter-finals should be the aim for this group of players 

Denmark group prediction: 2nd

EURO 2021 GROUP B: RUSSIA

FIFA World Ranking Best Result at European Championships Last European Championship result (2016) Coach
#38 Winners (1960 as Soviet Union) Group Stage Stanislav Chercheshov

After their impressive showing on home soil in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, now is the time for Russia to build some consistency at major tournaments. It’s rare for this massive footballing nation to put on a good show. They’ve made it out of the group stage just twice in the last three decades. Until they hosted the 2018 World Cup, the only other occasion was back at Euro 2008 when they reached the semi-finals.

There is some undoubted quality in this team. Aleksandr Golovin and Artem Dzyuba are at the top of that list but Ilzat Akhmetov and Aleksei Miranchuk are both highly thought of. This group of players has certainly been aided by stability around them. Stanislav Cherchesov has been in charge since 2016, making him the longest-serving Russia manager since the fall of the Soviet Union.

That quality and togetherness was on display in qualification. Russia made it out of a group that included the number one ranked team in the world and Group B rivals, Belgium. Roberto Martinez’s men won every match and Russia won all of theirs except for the two against Belgium. 

They certainly showed their quality in front of goal. Only three nations outscored them over the course of qualifying and one of them was their group rivals Belgium. Russia found the net 33 times in total during their 10 qualifying matches through 13 different goalscorers. Only a couple of national teams had goals from more sources during qualifying. 

They were blessed with some outstanding players at Euro 2008 and played on home soil at the World Cup a decade later. This tournament represents an excellent opportunity for Russia to prove that their push to the quarter finals three year ago wasn’t an outlier.

Euro 2021 Group B, Russia, Prediction

It’s going to be difficult for Russia in Group B. Their qualifying campaign proved that they would struggle against Belgium. The 3-1 and 4-1 victories were fairly comfortable for Roberto Martinez’s side which means that they may well be competing for second place. 

That’s a big ask against some good sides. Denmark are stacked with quality and Finland are a leap into the unknown. The former will provide more challenge than the latter but both will push Russia all the way.

Russia group prediction: 4th

EURO 2021 GROUP B: FINLAND

FIFA World Ranking Best Result at European Championships Last European Championship result (2016) Coach
#58 Never qualified before Never qualified before Markku Kanerva

It’s a massive tournament for Finland. They will take part in the European Championship finals for the first time in what will be their major tournament debut. It’s a fine achievement that Finland have got this far after escaping what was a hugely tricky group.

They were drawn in Qualifying Group J alongside some top teams. They finished second behind Italy and ahead of some quality sides in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Greece. Finland won six of their 10 matches including four of their five home matches. They conceded just twice in those five fixtures on home soil and both of them came in the 2-1 defeat to Italy. 

They need to get off to a strong start. They face Denmark in Copenhagen on 12 June in their first match of the tournament. After that, they take on Russia in St. Petersburg. Those two matches will surely decide where they finish in Group B as Finland carry little hope into that final fixture against Belgium. 

It would represent a phenomenal achievement for them. One suspects that Finland have already reached their goals by qualifying for this competition. But a good showing here would make it an occasion to remember for Finnish football.

Euro 2021 Group B, Finland, Prediction

Finland are the unknown quantity in Group B and the European Championship as a whole. It’s unclear what we will see from the side that beat the World Champions France in November. They got out of a tough qualifying group that featured some good sides. They may well be the surprise package that sneaks into the knockout stage and causes a few upsets – just like Iceland did on their major tournament debut in 2016. 

It’s a tight group that may well take one of the 3rd-place qualifying slots. Don’t be surprised if we see Finland in the knockout stage of this competition.

Finland group prediction: 3rd

 

Other Euro 2021 Groups

Euro 2021 – Group A
Euro 2021 – Group C
Euro 2021 – Group D

Euro 2021 – Group E

Euro 2021 – Group F

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