Euro 2020 (2021) starts today with Italy vs. Turkey. In total, the competition will feature 51 games over 31 days in 11 different cities across Europe. Arsenal are sending just 4 players to the tournament, the fewest the club has sent since Euro ‘96. And that number could dwindle to three before the tournament starts should Granit Xhaka’s expected transfer to Roma go through.
Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, Bernd Leno, and the aforementioned Xhaka will be the only Gunners at the Euros this go-round. Of the bunch, I expect Xhaka and Tierney to get the most playing time. Xhaka captains Switzerland and has been a mainstay in the side for years. He usually plays a slightly more advanced role for the national team than he does at Arsenal that lessens his defensive responsibilities and maximizes his passing range.
Tierney is also a starter, but Scotland manager Steve Clarke had to get creative to get him and Andy Robertson on the pitch at the same time, which he absolutely needed to do because the pair are two of the best players in his side. Tierney has been playing LCB in a three with Robertson playing LWB outside him. KT still has license to get forward, but not quite in the same way he does at Arsenal.
It’s anybody’s guess how much time Bukayo Saka will get for England. The Three Lions have a wealth of attacking talent, and Arsenal’s young star will probably be coming off the bench. He did start and score the only goal (and his first senior international goal to boot) against Austria in England’s first warm-up match on June 2nd, and I’ve got a feeling he’ll chip in with a goal or an assist in the Euros, too.
Bernd Leno is Ter Stegen’s backup. I don’t expect him to play unless something goes very wrong for Germany or Ter Stegen gets hurt.
Arsenal players’ Euro 2020 schedules:
Kieran Tierney, Scotland
vs. Czech Republic, Monday, June 14th 9 AM ET on ESPN
vs. England, Friday, June 18th, 3 PM ET on ESPN
vs. Croatia, Tuesday, June 22nd, 3 PM ET on ESPN2
Bukayo Saka, England
vs. Croatia, Sunday, June 13th, 9 AM ET on ESPN
vs. Scotland, Friday, June 18th, 3 PM ET on ESPN
vs. Czech Republic, Tuesday, June 22nd, 3 PM ET on ESPN
Granit Xhaka, Switzerland
vs. Wales, Saturday, June 12th, 9 AM ET on ESPN
vs. Italy, Wednesday, June 16th, 3 PM ET on ESPN
vs. Turkey, Sunday, June 20th, 3 PM ET on ESPN
Bernd Leno, Germany
vs. France, Tuesday, June 15th, 3 PM ET on ESPN
vs. Portugal, Saturday, June 19th, 12 PM ET on ESPN
vs. Hungary, Wednesday, June 23rd, 3 PM ET on ESPN2
As always with streaming, check LiveSoccerTV.com for all your outside-the-U.S. viewing needs, and please do not discuss or share links to illegal streams here.
Housekeeping note: feel free to use this post as an open-thread for the Italy-Turkey match. I’m going to do my best to put up an open thread every morning during the Euros for y’all to chat about that day’s matches.
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