Euro 2020 preview: Gareth Bale and Denis Zakaria the standouts in Group A


It’s just one week until the first game of Euro 2020 kicks off. Excited? Of course you are!

Group A is where things will begin, with Turkey and Italy meeting at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on June 11 (see all Euro 2020 fixtures here).

The following day, Wales’ campaign commences with a clash against Switzerland at the Olympic Stadium in Baku.

Even if you’re not a supporter of any of these nations, there are still plenty of big names to get behind. Here is one player from each Group A country to look out for this summer.

Italy – Federico Chiesa

Chiesa has enjoyed a fine season at Juventus

Italy will be expected to take top spot in Group A, and it’s pretty clear to see why. Everyone knows how good Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are, despite their age. Everyone’s heard all about Gianluigi Donnarumma and his immense potential.

We all know of Ciro Immobile’s exceptional goalscoring record at Lazio, and Marco Verratti’s consistency for PSG, and Lorenzo Insigne’s rise to stardom at Napoli, and so on.

One player who hasn’t received the same level of recognition yet is Federico Chiesa. The winger is expected to play on the right of Italy’s front three, alongside Insigne and Immobile.

The winger has been a shining light in a fairly disappointing season for Juventus. Whenever Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t performing to his exceptional standards, Chiesa was often the man to step up, as shown by his three goals against Porto in the Champions League and his winner in the Coppa Italia final.

Suggested Article: Italy Euro 2020 squad page

Switzerland – Denis Zakaria

Zakaria could be on his way to one of Europe’s biggest clubs soon

It could be a big summer for Denis Zakaria, who has been one of Borussia Monchengladbach’s standouts since signing in 2017.

With his side missing out on European football, the 24-year-old is expected to pursue a move elsewhere this summer.

Euro 2020 could be his opportunity to put himself in the shop window. With just a year left on his contract, the midfielder will be on the radars of several clubs, who will be looking to snag a bargain.

A strong tournament could be the catalyst for any interested sides to make a bid.

Zakaria has been mooted as a possible transfer target for Arsenal, as well as being linked with Manchester CityManchester United, Chelsea,  and Bayern Munich.

Suggested Article: Switzerland Euro 2020 squad page

Turkey – Burak Yilmaz

Yilmaz has been prolific this season

Burak Yilmaz has been around for a while, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down this season.

His 16 Ligue 1 goals were vital as Lille managed to topple the behemoths of French football, Paris Saint-Germain.

The 35-year-old enters the tournament in fine form, netting 11 goals in his last 11 appearances in all competitions.

This includes four strikes on the international stage, having bagged a hat-trick against the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier back in March.

For a man who has scored almost 300 career goals, Yilmaz has gone under the radar over the years. A good output this summer will no doubt get him some recognition.

Suggested Article: Turkey Euro 2020 squad page

Wales – Gareth Bale

Euro 2020 could be Bale’s final curtain call

You may be more likely to find him on the golf course, and he may not be the player he once was, but Gareth Bale this season proved that he still has plenty left in him as he scored 16 goals for Tottenham Hotspur.

Lately, there have been rumours that the Real Madrid man is set to retire from football, whether after the tournament or in a year.

Even if this speculation is false, Euro 2020 could very well turn out to be Bale’s last major tournament for Wales. He will be desperate to bow out on a high note.

Even at 31, a fully motivated Gareth Bale is a frightening prospect. If he can produce his best stuff, it would go a long way to helping Wales repeat the heroics of Euro 2016.

Suggested Article: Wales Euro 2020 squad page

Read also: Euro 2020 squads: A complete list of all 24 Euro 2020 squads.

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