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« : 11 Сентябрь 2019, 08:18:40 »
Few big teams need to sweat the 2020 European Championship qualifiers DeAndre Yedlin Jersey , but for Germany the pressure is already on.After a terrible 2018, Joachim Loew’s new-look squad is aiming for revenge against the Netherlands, which helped relegate Germany in the inaugural Nations League last year.Elsewhere in the opening two rounds of games, there’s a rematch from the 2016 European Championship as World Cup champion France hosts Iceland on Monday in Group H. England’s young squad faces two eastern European teams in the Czech Republic and Montenegro in Group A.Qualifying for next year’s 24-team tournament is low-risk for many top teams, since two nations qualify from each of the 10 groups. The revamped playoff system means 16 countries have a safety net.In other matches, World Cup semifinalist Belgium hosts Russia in the pick of the opening day’s games Thursday. Portugal faces on-form Ukraine on Friday and on Saturday Spain is against Norway and out-of-sorts Italy hosts Finland.SOUTHGATE’S YOUNGSTERSEngland manager Gareth Southgate is relying on young players even more than usual as qualifying begins.His squad for the Czech Republic on Friday and Montenegro on Monday contains two players born in 2000 — Jadon Sancho and newcomer Callum Hudson-Odoi — and just one born in the 1980s, backup goalkeeper Tom Heaton.Declan Rice, the 20-year-old West Ham midfielder, is available to make his England debut after switching allegiance from Ireland.Of the older players from the England squad which reached the World Cup semifinals, Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill have retired from international football, while Ashley Young hasn’t been selected since the tournament in Russia.The Czech squad is missing first-choice goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik, who has an abdominal muscle injury, and playmaker Borek Dockal is a doubtful starter because of a calf muscle problem.LOEW’S WOESFew international coaches have Loew’s staying power.He is still in charge despite Germany failing to advance from the group stages at the World Cup and the Nations League groups, and recording just one win in its last seven competitive games. Germany’s first European qualifier on Sunday is its toughest — away to the Netherlands, which beat Germany 3-0 in Amsterdam in October.“Some players now have to take the next step and take it up a level https://www.thetopsoccer.com/usa/matt-miazga-jersey ,” Loew said when he introduced a revamped squad that was missing Bayern Munich trio Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng. That leaves captain Manuel Neuer and Toni Kroos as the only prominent survivors from the squad that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.Netherlands, meanwhile, is on a high after winning its Nations League group from France and Germany. The Dutch are also celebrating Ajax’s Champions League win over Real Madrid. Four players from that Ajax team could face Belarus on Thursday and then Germany, including young stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.HOSTS MUST QUALIFYTo mark 60 years of the European Championship, the final tournament spreads out across 12 countries from Ireland to Russia, a legacy of Michel Platini’s time as UEFA president.If all the hosts were given spots at the tournament, they’d make up half the draw. That makes 2020 the first European Championship in 44 years where hosts must qualify. Some will miss out.Azerbaijan faces the toughest task in having to win a qualifying spot in Group E ahead of Croatia and Wales, while fellow hosts Hungary and Scotland aren’t exactly regulars at major tournaments, either.Among the big-name hosts, Italy and Germany need to shake off poor recent form to reach the finals. England is the main host with seven games at Wembley, including the 2020 semifinals and final.SAFETY NETSome teams already know they’ll get a second chance thanks to UEFA.The top two teams in each group qualify automatically, just as they did for the 2016 tournament, but the playoff system is very different.Playoff places are decided by how well teams performed in last year’s Nations League games. England and Portugal are among the 16 teams currently in playoff places, along with lesser lights such as Georgia and Belarus.If a team with a playoff spot qualifies automatically Gyasi Zardes Jersey , that spot goes to the next-best ranked team in the same Nations League tier. For example, Belgium goes to the playoffs if it doesn’t qualify automatically but at least one of Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands and England does.The playoffs are in March 2020. MANCHESTER, England (AP) — It has been abundantly clear for some time that Wolverhampton Wanderers wasn’t going to be a typical promoted team in the Premier League this season.Funded by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. Closely linked with “super-agent” Jorge Mendes. Owning players from international teams including Spain, Portugal and Mexico.“Wolves,” as they are better known, were never going to have a problem preserving their top-flight status. It was simply a case of how high they could go in their first season back in the big time.Even they might be surprised how well it is going.Check out this for a season so far: Seventh in the Premier League, making Wolves the best of the rest behind the so-called “Big Six”; a place in the semifinals of the FA Cup, with a very strong chance of making the final; wins over Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham and also being the first team to take points off Manchester City in the league.After achieving promotion last April following one of the most convincing second-tier campaigns in years, Wolves sporting director Kevin Thelwell said the “sky is the limit.” He might just be right.Beating Man United 2-1 in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, to get to the last four for the first time in 21 years, was perhaps the high point of the season for the team from an industrial city in central England. The goals came from two of the 10 Wolves players who have left to go on international duty for the next two weeks: Raul Jimenez (Mexico) and Diogo Jota (Portugal).It doesn’t get much better for supporters whose team plunged to back-to-back relegations in 2012 and ’13 to end up in the third division.“What pleases me more is Bobby Wood Jersey , as I walk down the stands, there are people saying that they saw the 1950s and ’60s and they are still coming to the stadium,” said Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo, referring to an era when the team was one of the biggest in the country. “So, to give them back this joy and seeing our fans going out of the stadium with a smile feels good.”Everton has spent $400 million since 2016. West Ham, now ensconced in London’s Olympic Stadium, sees itself as one of England’s top clubs in a few years. But it might be Wolves who have the best chance of breaking the stranglehold of the “Big Six,” who have had a rock-solid presence at the top of the Premier League since being shaken out of their torpor by Leicester’s surprise title triumph in 2016.The most crucial job for the Wolves board this offseason will be tying down the futures of some of the team’s top players. They include Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves, who has been linked with Man City, and Jimenez, who is currently on a season-long loan from Benfica.The striker has been a revelation with 15 goals this season, meaning he has outshone international colleague Javier Hernandez over at West Ham, and it might require a fee of up to $50 million to sign him on a permanent basis.Mendes’ involvement with Wolves, because of his close links with Fosun, could help get that deal over the line https://www.thetopsoccer.com/usa/paul-arriola-jersey , just like he was influential in bringing Jota, Neves, Espirito Santo and two more Portugal internationals — midfielder Joao Moutinho and goalkeeper Rui Patricio — to the club.Key to the team’s success has been Espirito Santo’s tactic of getting men behind the ball, before springing them forward on the counterattack with wing backs Matt Doherty and Jonny Otto playing pivotal roles. Deploying a 5-3-2 formation, Wolves have been among the best teams at restricting opponents to difficult chances simply by getting bodies in the way and forcing shots from distance.Seventh looks like the being the highest Wolves can finish in the Premier League this season, with sixth-place Chelsea 13 points ahead. But winning the FA Cup for the first time since 1960 is a realistic goal after being drawn against Watford in the semifinals, which will take place at Wembley Stadium.“It’s one of the best days we’ll ever have,” Wolves captain Conor Coady said. “We want to go there and do it right.”Wolves have beaten Liverpool and United en route to the semifinals. Man City, which plays Brighton in the other last-four match, could await in the final on May 18.That would be some way to crown a season when Wolves announced themselves as a force in English soccer once more.
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