UEFA EURO 2020 Group E: Matchday 2 Review & Matchday 3 Outlook – Spain, Sweden, Poland, and Slovakia Battle It Out

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Matchday 2 Review

Spain in trouble after Lewandowski’s equalizer

Lewandowski forgot his great scoring form in Munich. Every Polish wishes that he will turn the tide in their last game and deliver them the vital 3 points. We all know what a great performer he is, truly one of the best goal-scorers we have watched. However, his side doesn’t work for him as much as Bayern Munich does and he seems unable to make an impact on their game. Against Spain, he finally scored, taking advantage of one of the 2 completed crosses of Poland in their opponent’s 18-yard box. He needs his team to play for him more than they do, they need to feed him the ball, and create situations where he is alone with a defender or in open space. After all, he only had 2 shots in the game, both on target.

Alvaro Morata also scored, as we predicted in our previous article’s outlook section. This time Morata was much more composed in his efforts, finding the net once, and hitting the target 3 times in 4 shots. Spain has the midfield quality to create chances for their striker and it was only a matter of time before Morata found the net. He comes from a good year all-around, having scored plenty of goals in every competition Juventus played in, and he dished several assists too. Spain needs him to continue scoring and their match against Slovakia is a good opportunity to add goals to his tally.

Isak was crucial in Sweden’s win over Slovakia

Isak please continue doing what you do! What an amazing dribbler and a fantastic young player!

Not only is Isak good at taking his opponents on with the ball at his feet, but he is much more than just that. He is highly capable to move behind the opponents’ backs at the right time. He also runs diagonally to the sides opening space for his teammates. Most importantly, during the tournament, we have seen him drop deeper towards the midfield to receive the ball and help his teammates with possession and carrying of the ball. We are thrilled to find out what else he can do with or without the ball to entertain us and to win points for his team.

The last time I wrote about Slovakia, one of the things I focused on was how good Ondrej Duda was. FC Koln’s attacking midfield continues to deliver even when he plays out of position as a false nine. It was obvious that he wasn’t totally comfortable in this role but he had good moments and an even better attitude. He was working hard for his team, pressuring the opposite defenders, tackling and intercepting the ball when needed. While this time he dribbled less, his other stats were pretty much the same as in his first game of the tournament. Although he is positioned as a striker, he still drops deep and operates as an extra attacking midfielder making me feel that his area of operations still is the midfield.

Matchday 3 Outlook

What a mess. Anything can happen in Group E and all teams are fighting for the top spots.

Spain absolutely needs a win against Slovakia. The Spaniards are strong favorites, with 80% chances of winning. Slovakia will work hard to at least get a draw that would see them qualify to the round of 16. No one can deny Spain’s talent and impressive achievements in the last decades, but their performance this year is sub-par. We do believe that they will get the win they need, but they might have to strive to get it against the Slovaks that have nothing to lose.

Poland and Sweden have similar chances of winning, with the Central European team having a slight edge. With a draw, the Scandinavians would clinch at least 2nd place and may even finish 1st if the other group match ends as a tie too. Having qualified already, Sweden might be less interested in pursuing a big win but if they play for the draw Poland has the players to make them pay for it. Poland needs their best players to perform according to their talents. If they do, a win is definitely in the cards.

Heatmap of results and win probabilities for Group E of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament. Matchdays 1 & 2.

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