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Proper Football's Euro 2020 Breakdown: Group D

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Craig Williamson - SNS Group / Contributor

We’re halfway through our breakdown of the Euro 2020 group stage, and Group D presents two legitimate contenders for the competition.

The group is clearly headlined by Croatia and England, both of whom reached at least the semi finals at the 2018 World Cup. Both sides have retained many of their starters coming into the latest edition of the Euros.

Meanwhile, Czech Republic and Scotland will have to rise above many people’s expectations if they are to advance into the knockout phase.

We kicked off our Euro previews on Monday with Group A, Tuesday with Group B and Wednesday with Group C, so go visit those pieces for more on big contenders like Belgium and Italy.

Let’s take a closer look at the four teams competing in Group D ahead of this summer’s Euro 2020 competition.

Croatia

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Slavko Midzor/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

Key Players: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Šime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Ivan Perišić (Inter Milan)

Manager: Zlatko Dalić

Euro history: 6th Euro appearance; Reached 2018 World Cup final

Coming into the tournament, Croatia and England will be the clear favorites to advance, particularly given their form at the 2018 World Cup.

Croatia features several mainstays that competed for their side three years ago in Russia, but none will be more important than Luka Modric and Ivan Perišić.

The Euros are one competition that Croatia hasn’t managed to tame yet, with the quarter finals being the furthest the nation has ever reached.

Czech Republic

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Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Key Players: Tomáš Vaclík (Sevilla), Tomáš Souček (West Ham), Patrik Schick (Bayer Leverkusen)

Manager: Bořek Dočkal

Euro history: 7th Euro appearance; Runners’ up at Euro 1996

Czech Republic has had its fair share of success at the Euros in the past, but after a first-round exit five years ago, Dockal’s side will need a much better performance this time around.

Soucek leads a group that features three Premier League players as well as other top-flight Europeans competing in major leagues. 

After qualifying for Division A of the next UEFA Nations League, there are certainly bigger expectations for this side.

England

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Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Key Players: Marcus Rashford (Man United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Phil Foden (Man City)

Manager: Gareth Southgate

Euro history: 10th Euro appearance; Won 1966 World Cup

England looks to build on its performance from the 2018 World Cup, where the Three Lions narrowly missed out on making the final.

Southgate’s side is one of the deepest in the tournament, so anything other than a run back to the semi finals will be seen as a failure for England. 

With loads of Premier League talent, including Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford, England should cruise through group play before working through the knockout phase.

Scotland

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Alex Morton - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Key Players: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea)

Manager: Steve Clarke

Euro history: 3rd Euro appearance; Never reached World Cup or Euro knockout round

Scotland doesn’t boast historic success internationally like their rivals England, however, they do have a pretty good share of professional experience now with their current roster.

Captain Andy Robertson helped Liverpool win their first title in the Premier League era a season ago and he’ll aim to guide his Scottish side to similar success in a very challenging Group D.

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