Euro 2020 what you need to know: Must-see games, standout players and where to watch on TV

England's Harry Kane, Welsh wizard Gareth Bale and Scots skipper Andy Robertson. Credit: PA

The European Championships get underway on Friday with the tournament taking place across the continent for the first time.

England, Wales and Scotland have all qualified for Euro 2020, which concludes with the final at Wembley on Sunday 11 July.

There are 11 host cities in as many countries, spanning from Seville to Baku, something that has never happened before in the history of the competition.

Here we take a look at how to watch and the matches and players to keep an eye out for.

Must watch matches

England v Scotland, Friday 18 June, Wembley Stadium, London (8pm kick-off) ITV

The Auld Enemy meet in a tournament for the first time since Euro '96 when the old Wembley hosted England's 2-0 victory. The game was made famous for Paul Gascoigne fantastic individual goal and dentist chair celebration, not to mention Uri Gellar's claim he moved the ball when Gary McAllister missed a penalty for Scotland.

Like 25 years ago, England will go into the game as strong favourites but Scotland under Steve Clarke have become a resilient side with plenty of Premier League quality, such as Andrew Robertson, Kieran Tierney and Scott McTominay. The Scots will have 2,600 inside Wembley, out of the 22,500 permitted due to Covid regulations. It will certainly be a spiky affair even with the stadium less than a quarter full.

France v Germany, Tuesday 15 June, Allianz Arena, Munich (8pm kick-off) ITV

In terms of group stage clashes, it does not get much bigger than two-time World Cup and European Championship winners France against the Germans, who have four World Cups and three Euros to their name.

The squads are packed with talent - France boast Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. There is also a return from international exile for Karim Benzema after a six-year exile from the France side due to a bust-up with former teammate Mathieu Valbuena. The Real Madrid striker has now resolved his differences with coach Didier Deschamps and the rest of the side. Now there is pressure on Benzema to lead reigning world champions France to glory once more.

It will be Germany coach Joachim Low's final tournament in charge of the team, so he will be keen to go out in style. The squad is an ageing one but few could argue with the quality on offer, with Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan and Thomas Muller set to create an experienced spine with countless career medals between them.

Kylian Mbappe's France will face Germany. Credit: PA

Turkey v Italy, Friday 11 June, Rome (Kick-off 8pm) BBC One

Every competition needs a dark horse and, for many, Turkey are this year's. They have quality running throughout their squad, led by veteran Burak Yilmaz. The Lille striker comes into the tournament off the back of an unlikely Ligue 1 title win, alongside international colleagues Zeki Celik and Yusuf Yazici, which saw them pip the more glamorous Paris Saint-Germain to top spot.

Yilmaz has been prolific for the past decade at home in Turkey and now in France, without mentioning his recent hat-trick against the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier. Leicester City's Cagnar Soyuncu will marshal a defence that is more than capable of keeping out Italy and others.

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will lead the Italians, knowing a surprise loss in their opening fixture at 'home' against the Turks could be very damaging. Mancini has plenty of experience in all forms of the game, as does his squad with defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci boasting over 100 caps each. Italy are sixth favourites to win the tournament overall but they will be well aware they face a tricky start.

Belgium v Russia, Saturday 12 June, St Petersburg (kick-off 8pm) ITV

The Belgians come into the tournament ranked as the world's best team, which is unsurprising considering Roberto Martinez can call on Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard. Starting the competition in Russia's second city might not have been the preference for Martinez et all but it will allow the Belgians to put down a marker against a Russian side few expect much of, although 30,500 will be allowed inside the stadium which could make it quite hostile.

Belgium are not short on talent. Credit: PA

Portugal v France, Wednesday 23 June, Budapest (kick-off 8pm) BBC One

It is the final game of the group stage and could end with one of the pre-tournament favourites being sent home. Group F also contains Germany and Hungary, although the latter will not be confident with regards their chances of progression. If either Portugal or France drop points in their opening two fixtures, this game could be a decider. It will see the reigning European and World champions go head-to-head for a place in the latter stages. What would they be without Cristiano Ronaldo or Kylian Mbappe? We might be about to find out.


Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Turkey

As previously mentioned, Turkey could surprise many at the tournament and Çalhanoğlu could be key to this. The Milan midfielder is a fine passer of the ball, takes a wicked free-kick and is known for scoring spectacular goals from distance. He has extra motivation during the tournament as his contract has run out in Italy, so will be hoping some impressive performances to take his country to the latter stages of the tournament.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu plays his club football for Milan. Credit: PA

Jamal Musiala, Germany

The teenager is the one that got away from Gareth Southgate. Although born in Germany, the Bayern Munich winger was brought up in England and educated at the famous Whitgift School in Surrey. He spent eight years on the books at Chelsea but returned to the country of his birth to join the Bundesliga side, winning a championship medal in his first season. His form for Bayern, where he became the club's youngest ever scorer, earned him international recognition, making his Germany debut in March. In an ageing squad his youthful talents could make him an important player off the bench for Joachim Low.

Pedri, Spain

Despite being only 18, the winger made 50 appearances for Barcelona last season following a summer move from Las Palmas. With Lionel Messi aged 34, there are high hopes Pedri can become a focal point for the Catalans for years to come. Pedri can play in numerous positions but most frequently operates in central midfield. The teenager is a dynamic dribbler and can open up defences with ease thanks to his passing.

Alexander Isak, Sweden

Following Zlatan Ibrahimovic's much self-publicised return to the Sweden squad ended before the tournament started due to injury, there will be added pressure on Isak's shoulders. The 22-year-old was a prodigal talent in his homeland, making his debut for AIK aged just 16. A move to Borussia Dortmund did not work out but he had found his feet in the Basque Country with Real Sociedad who he helped to fifth place last season, thanks to his 15 goals.

Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left), Alexander Isak (right) will be key for Sweden. Credit: PA

Elif Elmas, North Macedonia

The Napoli midfielder is already a very experienced player despite being just 21 years old, having started his career in his homeland as a teenager. Since then he has represented Turkish giants Fenerbahce and now Napoli. The attack-minded midfielder is always looking to play forward passes and drive his team forward, making him the focal point of the team. His quality could be a key reason North Macedonia get out of a group containing Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria.

Where and when can I watch the games?

Group stage

Friday 11 June

Group A: Turkey v Italy (8pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Saturday 12 June

Group A: Wales v Switzerland (2pm) BBC One / iPlayer / S4C / S4C Clic

Group B: Denmark v Finland (5pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Group B: Belgium v Russia (8pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Sunday 13 June

Group D: England v Croatia (2pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Group C: Austria v North Macedonia (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group C: Netherlands v Ukraine (8pm) ITV / ITV Hub

The Netherlands fans will be hoping to make progress. Credit: PA

Monday 14 June

Group D: Scotland v Czech Republic (2pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Group E: Poland v Slovakia (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group E: Spain v Sweden (8pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Tuesday 15 June

Group F: Hungary v Portugal (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group F: France v Germany (8pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Wednesday 16 June

Group B: Finland v Russia (2pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Group A: Turkey v Wales (5pm) BBC One / iPlayer / S4C / S4C Clic

Group A: Italy v Switzerland (8pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Thursday 17 June

Group C: Ukraine v North Macedonia (2pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group B: Denmark v Belgium (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group C: Netherlands v Austria (8pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Friday 18 June

Group E: Sweden v Slovakia (2pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Group D: Croatia v Czech Republic (5pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Group D: England v Scotland (8pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Saturday 19 June

Group F: Hungary v France (2pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Group F: Portugal v Germany (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group E: Spain v Poland (8pm) BBC One / iPlayer

Spain face Poland in their second game. Credit: PA

Sunday 20 June

Group A: Italy v Wales (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub / S4C / S4C Clic

Group A: Switzerland v Turkey (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Monday 21 June

Group C: North Macedonia v Netherlands (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group C: Ukraine v Austria (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group B: Russia v Denmark (8pm) BBC / iPlayer

Group B: Finland v Belgium (8pm) BBC / iPlayer

Tuesday 22 June

Group D: Czech Republic v England (8pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group D: Croatia v Scotland (8pm) ITV4 / ITV Hub

Wednesday 23 June

Group E: Slovakia v Spain (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group E: Sweden v Poland (5pm) ITV / ITV Hub

Group F: Germany v Hungary (8pm) BBC / iPlayer

Group F: Portugal v France (8pm) BBC / iPlayer

Round of 16

Saturday 26 June

1: Group A runner-up v Group B runner-up (5pm)

2: Group A winner v Group C runner-up (8pm)

Sunday 27 June

3: Group C winner v Group D/E/F third place (5pm)

4: Group B winner v Group A/D/E/F third place (8pm)

Monday 28 June

5: Group D runner-up v Group E runner-up (5pm)

6: Group F winner v Group A/B/C third place (8pm)

Tuesday 29 June

7: Group D winner v Group F runner-up (5pm)

8: Group E winner v Group A/B/C/D third place (8pm)


Friday 2 July

QF1: Winner of 6 v Winner of 5 (5pm)

QF2: Winner of 4 v Winner of 2 (8pm)

Saturday 3 July

QF3: Winner of 3 v Winner of 1 (5pm)

QF4: Winner of 8 v Winner of R7 (8pm)


Tuesday 6 July

SF1: Winner of QF2 v Winner of QF1 (8pm)

Wednesday 7 July

SF2: Winner of QF4 v Winner of QF3 (8pm)


Sunday 11 July

Winner of SF1 v Winner of SF2 (8pm) BBC One / ITV