Euro 2020 Team Rankings: Matchday 1

16 June 2021 01:30

Euro 2020 is in full swing, with every team now having played their first game. Certain nations have made surprisingly efficient starts, while others look as though they'll need a bit of time to find their groove.

Before the tournament we used Opta data and Stats Perform's AI team to predict the winners, ranking all 24 teams by the likelihood of lifting the trophy aloft at Wembley on July 11.

Well, now that everyone's played, we've run the Stats Perform Euros Prediction model again to see how the early results have impacted each team's chances.

The model estimates the probability of the outcome (win, draw or loss) of each match, using betting market odds and Stats Perform team rankings, which are based on historical and recent performances.

That model considers the strength of opponents and how difficult each team's route to the final might look, based on match outcome probabilities, how the groups are made up and the seedings heading into the knockout phase. We've then simulated the remainder of the tournament 40,000 times and analysed each outcome, giving us a percentage to assign to each team to show the chances of them lifting the trophy.

Got that? Good. Now the technical bit's done, let's get into the thick of the action, with all teams ranked by their likelihood of winning the tournament after the first round of games.


24. North Macedonia (0.0 per cent (rounded down))

Goran Pandev scored in a losing cause | Marko Djurica - Pool/Getty Images

The fact North Macedonia are even at the Euros is an achievement in itself, so anything more will surely be a bonus.

Although their 3-1 loss to Austria – in which Goran Pandev fittingly netted their first ever Euros goal – means they face an 87.1 per cent likelihood of not getting out of Group C, they won't be giving up yet.


23. Scotland (0.01 per cent)

Scotland's return to the European Championship didn't go as planned | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

A home start against a Czech Republic side that nobody would have considered unbeatable, Scotland had a great opportunity to make a positive return to major tournament football but fell flat at Hampden Park, unable to take advantage of some good chances.

With rivals England up next, Scotland will need something special to dig themselves out of this early hole. While motivation certainly won't be an issue at Wembley, they'll have to be careful about going overboard – failure in London will only see their 1 per cent chance of progression diminish even further.


22. Hungary (0.03 per cent)

Hungary held out until the final minutes against Portugal | Attila Kisebenedek - Pool/Getty Images

The Magyars did a solid job of keeping Portugal at bay for a long time on Tuesday, but a deflection gave the holders the initiative and they subsequently strolled to victory in the latter stages.

It was always going to be a tough ask for Hungary to get out of the group – their 6.9 per cent chance is the worst of all teams at the tournament, and with France and Germany still to come, you can understand why that might be the case.


21. Slovakia (0.1 per cent)

Milan Skriniar volleyed in the winner against Poland | Kirill Kudryavtsev - Pool/Getty Images

The victory over Poland surprised plenty and now gives Slovakia a 79.2 per cent chance of reaching the knockout phase – that's roughly four times more likely than Poland (18.5 per cent).

They were one of the deepest teams defensively (average starting position of 33.4 metres), but it paid off against the Poles and Sweden had a similar mentality against Spain, so who's to say Slovakia can't cause further upsets at the Euros?


20. Poland (0.3 per cent)

Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off against Slovakia | Anton Vaganov - Pool/Getty Images

It's all well and good having Robert Lewandowski in your team, but if you can't get the ball to him in dangerous areas then he may as well be on the beach. The Bayern Munich star now has just two goals from 35 shots for Poland at major tournaments.

In the 2-1 defeat to Slovakia in matchday one, Poland looked shaky at the back and lacked creative ingenuity in attack. The model now reckons they have a 76.7 per cent chance of finishing bottom of the group – only three teams in the entire tournament are in a worse position than that.


19. Austria (0.3 per cent)

David Alaba's Austria beat North Macedonia | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Granted, they were up against the lowest-ranked nation at the Euros in North Macedonia last time out and needed a couple of late goals, but Austria got the job done – their 27 pressed sequences and 10 PPDA (opposition passes allowed per defensive action) were the third best in those respective metrics, showing how they implemented an intense system when not in possession.

That 3-1 win – their first ever victory at the Euros – means Austria have just a 9.3 per cent chance of not getting out of the group, but they may need to alter their set-up against Ukraine and the Netherlands, and better opposition could potentially expose them at the back if they press so high.


18. Czech Republic (0.4 per cent)

Patrik Schick scored from just inside Scotland's half | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

An opening 2-0 victory over Scotland probably didn't quite have Czech Republic fans dreaming of another semi-final (or better), as they achieved in 2004. But there were similarities – Patrik Schick was playing the role of Milan Baros with his brilliant brace up top, while Tomas Vaclik did his best Petr Cech impression in net, making some stunning saves.

However, most would expect Scotland to be the easiest of their three group-stage opponents. If they keep this up against Croatia and England, who knows, that 0.4 per cent could get a little larger.


17. Finland (0.4 per cent)

Joel Pohjanpalo scored the winner against Denmark | Martin Meissner - Pool/Getty Images

Their first (and only) shot in their first Euros game secured their first ever Euros win against Denmark. Of course, it paled into insignificance compared to Christian Eriksen's emergency, but getting three points on the board already gives unfancied Finland a 68.8 per cent chance of reaching the next stage.

Finland ultimately won 1-0 thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo's header, with Lukas Hradecky playing a vital role at the other end as he became only the third goalkeeper in Euros history to save a penalty on his tournament debut. Tougher tests await, however.


16. Ukraine (0.5 per cent)

Andriy Yarmolenko scored a belter against the Netherlands | BSR Agency/Getty Images

Although Andriy Shevchenko's Ukraine suffered a 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands, their performance gave reason for optimism, not least because of their pleasing brand of football and the fact they scored twice against the Dutch.

The prediction model reckons they still have a 70.6 per cent chance of reaching the knockout phase, which is the second best (after Germany) among the teams to have lost on matchday one. Similar performances against Austria and North Macedonia will surely yield positive results for Ukraine.


15. Turkey (0.6 per cent)

Dark horses Turkey were given the runaround by Italy | MIKE HEWITT/Getty Images

Senol Gunes' men went into the tournament being backed as one of the teams most likely to pull off a shock, but they were frustratingly unambitious against Italy, their average starting position of 31.9 metres (third-lowest in the tournament) evidence of their negative approach.

While their squad boasts some talented players, they really have a point to prove now, with their comprehensive defeat to Italy suggesting only five teams are less likely to get out of the group than Turkey.


14. Wales (0.6 per cent)

Kieffer Moore scored Wales' equaliser against Switzerland | Aziz Karimov/Getty Images

While not necessarily a dreadful result, Wales' 1-1 draw with Switzerland wasn't especially inspiring – it leaves them with a 5.4 per cent chance of matching their performance at Euro 2016, when they reached the semi-finals. Though, to be fair, few would have given them any hope on that occasion.

Wales and their next opponents Turkey set up in a similar fashion in their respective first games, with their high PPDA numbers (23.8 for Wales and 25.5 for Turkey) highlighting how they didn't press very high, but surely something has got to give when they face each other.


13. Russia (1.1 per cent)

Stanislav Cherchesov's Russia were beaten by Belgium | Anton Vaganov - Pool/Getty Images

Stanislav Cherchesov saw his team well-beaten by Belgium on matchday one. The prediction model still gives them a 48.4 per cent chance of getting out of the group, though that's better than only seven teams.

With games against Finland and Denmark to come in Group B, they should have more of an opportunity to show what they're about, though that defeat to Belgium is surely proof they will not be a menace to any of the top teams in the knockouts if they get that far.


12. Croatia (1.1 per cent)

Luka Modric battles with Kalvin Phillips | Robin Jones/Getty Images

In their 1-0 defeat to England, Zlatko Dalic's Croatia looked every inch a side in transition, as the Three Lions did not have to produce a particularly spectacular display to beat them.

They have now lost eight of their 14 matches since the start of 2020, though a 67.6 per cent likelihood of at least getting out of the group shows they still have plenty to play for. Their upcoming meeting with the Czech Republic will surely be vital.


11. Sweden (1.6 per cent)

Alexander Isak impressed against Spain | MB Media/Getty Images

Janne Andersson's men knew they'd be up against it in Seville. Yet, they came away with a point, and while they may have been somewhat fortunate, their set-up at least partly contributed. Aware that trying to match Spain or press them high up would be a fool's errand, they sat very deep.

Their average starting distance of 31.5 metres from their own goal (the joint-lowest so far) highlights this, as does their 32.3 PPDA, which is the second-highest of any team in the tournament. They invited Spain to attack, and La Roja couldn't find a way through.


10. Denmark (2.4 per cent)

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had a penalty saved | Friedemann Vogel - Pool/Getty Images

It was astonishing Denmark even resumed their match with Finland given Eriksen was confirmed to have suffered a cardiac arrest just before the halfway point. No one could have expected such an incident to have no impact on them.

Denmark went on to lose 1-0, but undoubtedly the most important part of the day was the confirmation that Eriksen was in a stable condition, with the Inter midfielder now on the mend as he undergoes tests to establish the cause. The Danes will be eager to do their team-mate proud from this point on.


9. Switzerland (3.0 per cent)

Switzerland could only manage a draw against Wales | Aziz Karimov/Getty Images

A 1-1 draw with Wales represented a pretty underwhelming start for Switzerland, but in a group stage that will see some third-placed teams progress, it's perhaps more important to just avoid defeat in your first game.

They at least showed something about them in attack, with goalscorer Breel Embolo trying his luck six times over the course of the match, a record for a Swiss player in a Euros game.


8. England (5.1 per cent)

Raheem Sterling scored the game's only goal against Croatia | GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions received a significant amount of praise from domestic media outlets after their 1-0 win over Croatia – but let's be honest, they were more functional than fun. They got the job done and didn't look massively troubled, though their performance was hardly exhilarating.

But perhaps that was the point. England have been solid rather than spectacular for much of Southgate's reign, and few would argue that's not brought results, as they chalked up a seventh successive win across all competitions for the first time in over six years. Our model says there's only a 0.9 per cent chance of them not reaching the last 16.


7. Italy (6.2 per cent)

Italy enjoyed a successful opening night | Filippo Monteforte - Pool/Getty Images

It's fair to say there was an element of uncertainty around Italy pre-tournament. While they qualified with ease, the standard of their opposition had generally been unimpressive – but against a Turkey side that had been tipped as 'dark horses', the Azzurri were almost unplayable and they're now in with the best shot of progressing (99.5 per cent).

Their 3-0 win was a historic scoreline as it meant Italy scored three times in a single Euros game for the first time. It seemed to solidify them as genuine contenders in the eyes of many, while it was also highlighted how Roberto Mancini's side aren't cut from the same cloth as Azzurri teams of the past – this lot should be fun.


6. Netherlands (7.7 per cent)

Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates his goal against Ukraine | ANP Sport/Getty Images

There was a lot to like about the Oranje in their opener against Ukraine. They played some vibrant football going forward and also showed real character, with Denzel Dumfries' decisive 85th-minute goal their latest winner at the Euros since current coach Frank de Boer netted in the 89th minute against the Czech Republic in 2000.

However, there was also plenty of reason for concern, as they surrendered a two-goal lead to a side that hadn't scored with any of their previous 72 shots at the Euros. While their defensive frailties may be eased by the return of Matthijs de Ligt, he surely won't solve all their problems. Either way, De Boer's men look set to entertain.


5. Germany (9.4 per cent)

Mats Hummels scored an own goal against France | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

It's not panic stations yet for Germany – given they could still go through after finishing third, our predictor suggests they still have an 82.7 per cent probability of not going home early.

While they still have the fifth-best chance of winning the tournament, the omens aren't great. Netherlands in 1988 are the only team to have ever won the Euros after losing their opening game.


4. Portugal (10.9 per cent)

Ronaldo left it late to bag a brace against Hungary | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The defending champions took a little while to click into gear against Hungary on Tuesday, with their first goal not arriving until the 84th minute – they went on to score two more through history-maker Cristiano Ronaldo, whose first saw him surpass Michel Platini as the all-time leading scorer in the European Championship.

They became the first side in Euros history to score three in the final 10 minutes of a game, which speaks to their persistence in the face of stubborn opposition. Getting off to a winning start in such a tough group could be vital and gives them a 98.2 per cent chance of reaching the next stage.


3. Belgium (12.5 per cent)

Lukaku scored twice against Russia | Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez's Belgium produced one of the standout performances so far as they swept Russia aside 3-0 on Saturday, Romelu Lukaku's brace taking him to 26 goal involvements in his previous 19 appearances for the Red Devils across all competitions.

While few would have fancied Russia's chances beforehand anyway, Belgium showed real flexibility in their approach, as highlighted by the fact they had the joint-most direct attacks end in a shot (three) but also had 27 sequences that included 10 or more passes, a figure only Spain (38) can better.


2. Spain (12.8 per cent)

Spain had all the ball but couldn't find a way through Sweden | David Ramos/Getty Images

Despite a rather anticlimactic display against Sweden that resulted in a 0-0 draw, Spain are still second most likely to win the competition. La Roja didn't have any issue keeping the ball, with their 85 per cent share of possession a Euros record since such data is available (1980), but taking advantage of that proved difficult.

Nevertheless, there are reasons for optimism. Their nine build-up sequences that ended in a shot or at least a touch in the box is more than any other team – while Alvaro Morata's ineffectiveness in front of goal was a problem, it'd arguably be more worrying if Spain weren't creating anything at all, and that wasn't the case.


1. France (22.8 per cent)

Lucas Hernandez set up France's winner | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Les Bleus came into the tournament as most people's favourites – our prediction model came to the same conclusion. Now, following their significant 1-0 win in Munich against Germany, it seems they are almost twice as likely to win the Euros than any other team.

With Hungary up next, France will fancy their chances of having already secured their spot in the next round by the time they come up against Portugal and – potentially – Ronaldo. That's a nice position to be in, particularly as key men may get a needed rest in that game if qualification is assured.

Source: 90min