Euro 2020 postponed: How it impacts England, Belgium & others

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On Tuesday, it was announced by UEFA that the European Championships had been postponed.

Euro 2020 was set to take place between 12 June and 12 July in 12 cities across Europe.

However, it is now scheduled to take place one year later because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Who will this help and who’s chance of glory will be hindered as a result of this unavoidable decision?

How the Euro 2020 postponement impacts England

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 14: Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring his sides fifth goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between England and Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on November 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Given England’s current injury crisis up front, the delay of the Euros by one year to 2021 could really benefit Gareth Southgate’s side.

Currently his three first-choice centre-forwards are all injured.

Harry Kane last played on New Years’ Day, Marcus Rashford has been out since the 15th of January and Tammy Abraham missed four of Chelsea’s last five games with an ankle injury.

Hopefully, from an England perspective, they’ll all be fit and firing by June 2021.

There is also another key issue to consider.

Jordan Pickford is currently England’s number one having started 19 of the last 20 competitive internationals. However, he is massively out of form at Everton.

Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson and Burnley’s Nick Pope are both playing better right now but neither were likely to be thrown in with very limited international experience.

Now though, both have an extra 12 months to stake a claim.

Does this all mean football’s coming home?

How the Euro 2020 postponement impacts Netherlands

Matthijs de Ligt of Holland during the UEFA Nations League A group 1 qualifying match between Germany and The Netherlands at the Veltins Arena on November 19, 2018 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

Will the extra year help Ronald Koeman’s Oranje?

Since he’s taken over the national team, Holland have qualified for a major tournament for the first time since 2014.

Also, they beat France, Germany and England to reach the UEFA Nations League Final where they lost 1-0 to Portugal at Estádio do Dragão.

Their sudden return to success has been founded upon young players.

Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek, Justin Kluivert, Donyell Malen and Steven Bergwijn are all currently under the age of 23 so should only get better in a year’s time.

Their only key squad members currently over 30 are goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, Daley Blind and Ryan Babel.

Also, vitally, star attacker Memphis Depay is currently out with an ACL injury and was set to miss the tournament, had it been played this summer.

With all three group games at Johan Cruyff Arena, will Netherlands win their second European Championship?

They’re currently 7/1 to go all the way.

How the Euro 2020 postponement impacts Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal with the Nations League trophy during the UEFA Nations League final match between Portugal and The Netherlands at Estádio do Dragão on June 09, 2019 in Porto, Portugal(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

This delay means Portugal hold onto their European title, for another year at least.

Back in 2016, Eder’s extra-time strike saw Portugal beat France 1-0 at Stade de France to win their first-ever major silverware.

They will now be European champions for five years at least, only Spain between 2008 and 2016 have held that title for longer.

On the pitch, Fernando Santos’ side picked up another trophy in 2019, winning the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be 36 in the summer of 2021 but is likely to be as sharp as ever.

Portugal are currently 16/1 to retain the Euro title.

How the Euro 2020 postponement impacts Belgium

Thorgan & Eden Hazard

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – NOVEMBER 15: Eden Hazard #10 and Thorgan Hazard #16 of Belgium in action during the UEFA Nations League A group two match between Belgium and Iceland at King Baudouin Stadium on November 15, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

This delay could be catastrophic for Belgium.

The Red Devils finished third at Russia 2018, their best-ever finish at a World Cup.

However, time is running out for the “Golden Generation” as nearly all of their key players are in their 30s.

Right now:

Thomas Vermaelen is 34, Vincent Kompany is 33.

Dries Mertens and Jan Vertonghen are 32. (Also the same age, Mousa Dembélé retired from international football last week.)

Axel Witsel, Toby Alderweireld are 31.

Also, their two very best players, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne will be in their 30s by next summer.

Roberto Martínez’s side already have the tough task of playing Denmark in Copenhagen and Russia in Saint Petersburg.

This will surely be the “Golden Generation’s” last chance of glory.

Belgium are 5/1 to win the European Championships.

How the Euro 2020 postponement impacts Croatia

KALININGRAD, RUSSIA – JUNE 16: Luka Modrić of Croatia celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group match between Croatia and Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Similarly to Belgium, Croatia’s stars are not getting any younger.

Zlatko Dalić’s side historically reached the World Cup Final in 2018, beating Nigeria, Argentina, Iceland, Denmark, hosts Russia and England.

They could not go all the way though, losing 4-2 to France at the Luzhniki Stadium.

They’re already weaker since then.

Immediately after the tournament, goalkeeper Danijel Subašić and centre-forward Mario Mandžukić retired from international football.

This was reflected by the fact they finished bottom of their UEFA Nations League group and, only just, scraped through qualifying.

But the delay to the European Championships has hugely hindered their chances of success.

New first-choice goalkeeper Lovre Kalinić as well as centre-backs Domagoj Vida and Dejan Lovren are over 30.

As are Ivan Perišić, captain Luka Modrić and vice-captain Ivan Rakitić who have 321 caps between them.

None of their key players are under the age of 27 so this ageing squad could well be even weaker come 2021.

Croatia are currently rank outsiders at 30/1 to win UEFA Euro 2021.

How the Euro 2020 postponement impacts the UEFA Nations League

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LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – JANUARY 24: Feature of the UEFA Nations League logo during the UEFA Nations League Draw 2018 at Swiss Tech Convention Center on January 24, 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)

The postponement of the Euros could have knock-on effects for the UEFA Nations League.

The competition was a roaring success in its inaugural season in 2018/19.

Minnows like Gibraltar won competitive matches for the very first time and Portugal won the competition in the Finals on home soil in June 2019.

The 2020 group stage was scheduled to take place between 3 September and 17 November 2020.

However, this is up in the air following the effects of the coronavirus.

There is no suggestion that the competition will be cancelled, more likely moved.

But, just as UEFA had seemingly found a winning formula for international football, it could all be changed.