Using Football Manager 2021 to predict the UEFA Euro 2020 – Who are most likely to become Euro 2020 winners and who are destined for the Golden Shoe award? Let’s see what Football Manager 2021 predicts about the upcoming European Championship!
The UEFA Euro 2020 is just around the corner and as the excitement for what I believe will be an amazing tournament are building up, it’s time to give you our UEFA Euro 2020 predictions! But this is no ordinary predictions of how the Euro 2021 will unfold. Instead we have used Football Manager 2021 to predict the Euro 2020 winners, the golden boot, best player of the tournament, over- and under achievers as well as other interesting stats and ‘facts’ about the upcoming Euros.
With the help of DodgeeGamer‘s UEFA Euro 2020 real groups database we have simulated the European Championship 30 times to gather as much stats and data about each simulation. We have then compiled the most important information into a spreadsheet to do some calculations.
The most interesting aspect of our Euro 2021 predictions isn’t just the results or how far a specific team reach in the tournament but how it corresponds once the tournament is finished.
So let’s ‘find’ out how the Euro 2020 will unfold!
The European Football Championship 2020 kicks off 11 June 2021 and last until the 11 July 2021.
Overview of the Groups & Nations’ Average Points
In order to predict the outcome of the Euro 2020’s group stage I decided to calculate each Nations points gathered over the course of the 30 simulations in order to find the average points. While it doesnt say anything about the number of times a Nation qualified to the second round, it gives you an overview of the likeliness of how the group stage might pan out – at least from a Football Manager 2021 perspective.
Italy – 5.86
Switzerland – 4.16
Turkey – 3.8
Wales – 2.66
Belgium – 5.96
Denmark – 4.9
Russia – 3.56
Finland – 2.0
Holland – 7.4
Austria – 4.43
Ukraine – 2.83
North Macedonia – 1.96
England – 6.0
Croatia – 4.73
Scotland – 3.26
Czech Rep. – 2.6
Spain – 5.86
Poland – 4.56
Sweden – 3.9
Slovakia – 2.2
Germany – 5.93
France – 5.66
Portugal – 4.23
Hungary – 0.93
There are two interesting predictions here. According to Football Manager 2021 we’ll see that Germany are slight favorites to win their group – or at least progress from it while Portugal might rely on being one of the two best third runner-ups.
On the other end of the scale, we’ll see that Hungary, Wales, Finland, North Macedonia, Slovakia and Czech Republic will have difficulty to even get to the required 3 points needed to reach the 2nd round.
The clubs that are most likely to be in a battle for the two best third places are from my simulations: Scotland, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.
Top 10 Nations to End the Competition at Quarter Finals
Let us leave the group stage for now and look closer at how the latter stages of the tournament might unfold. If we look more specifically at the Quarterfinals and which Nations that are most likely to reach it we can look at how many times each nation reached that stage over the course of the 30 simulations, but didn’t get any further!
Holland – 11
Germany – 10
England – 8
Sweden – 8
Austria – 7
Denmark – 7
Spain – 7
Russia – 6
Czech Rep. – 6
Croatia – 6
Here’s some interesting stats – in around 30% of the cases Germany and Holland has a greater chance of end their competition at the Quarter finals than Belgium (5), France (5), Italy (5) and Portugal (4) than to reach the semi finals. In fact, Holland has only reached the finals two times out of 30 chances! Similarly, Germany have reached the finals 8 times and are among the top 4 teams to progress to the finals the most times.
The Nations who might struggle to reach the Quarter Finals at all are Finland (1/30), Poland (3/30), Scotland (3/30), Wales (3/30) and Switzerland (4/30).
Potential Over- & Under Achievers
Finding the most likely overachievers in the Euro 2020 is difficult. There are many hard battles to be fought and some tough groups that most comes down to certain match situations. But through my 30 simulations we have had surprising events where Scotland has qualified from the group stage and reached the latter stages. Their group is more open about the second place than for example Group C. Most often they have qualified as one of the best three’s.
Another potential overachiever is Austria. Austria reached the quarter finals 7 out of 30 times with 2 semifinals as their best performances. If Austria shall progress they have to rely on goals from Marcel Sabitzer as they have often scrambled through the quarterfinals
Besides Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and Croatia have been Nations that have had the potential to mix things sup for the big-boys. For instance, Sweden actually managed to beat Germany in the quarterfinals whilst they also beat Belgium in the 2nd round.
Should Sweden progress to their best finish in the Euros since 2004 (Quarter-finals) they need Dejan Kulusevski, Alexander Isak, and Marcus Berg in the form!
A potential underachiever according to FM21 is Germany, Portugal and Spain. Despite the chances of Germany to reach the finals are somehow similar as their chances to end their run at the quarter finals, how they do it against Portugal and France in the group stage might seal their destiny.
Due to the tough group, Portugal is one who have struggled to qualify for the group stage. In fact, 6 times they have not been able to qualify from the group stage and a few times they haven’t managed to qualify from the 2nd round.
Spain is another club who have struggled to get higher than the quarter finals. In fact they have not reached the quarter finals 8 times with 5 of them not even qualifying from the group stage!
The nations that are most likely to reach the semifinals and end their run there might not be too surprising. Yet again it’s a battle between Holland (7), Spain (6), Belgium, France, Italy and Croatia (5).
The Case of Spain
What might have been interesting throughout my simulations is that Spain has often either progressed to the next round or got kicked out of the tournament after extra time or penalties. A major problem for the Spanish team seems to be who shall score their goals as their battles are often 0-0, 1-1 or close wins/losses.
The most frequent Nations to reach the finals are Belgium (11) and France (12). While France reached the finals 12 times and Belgium 11, Germany was the contender with only 8 times.
If you wonder about England they reached the finals 7 times.
Who will win the Euro 2020 finals?
The winner of the Euro 2020 might be a close call between Belgium and France according to Football Manager 2021. Out of 12 appearances in the finals, France have won it 8 times throughout my simulations.
They also have the highest amount of goals scored in the finals with 7-2 against Belgium.
In the case of Belgium, despite reaching the finals 11 times they have only won it 4 times in Football Manager 2021.
A greater contender to France might then be Italy, who reached the finals 9 times, or Germany who reached it 8 times. What’s interesting is that if Italy reach their finals, they have a greater chance of winning it than Belgium. Italy won the event 5 times throughout my simulations, meanwhile Germany have won it 4 times.
Here there might be some UK citizens who might wonder if England will reach the finals. In my simulations, they actually reached the finals 7 times – only winning it three times – one of them an odd 2-0 win against Denmark!
In one situation they lost on penalties against Italy after a final for the history books – 3-3 after full time with a Ciro Immobile hattrick in 8 minutes after Chiesa and Donnarumma setting up the goals! Surprisingly, Harry Kane opened the penalty shoot-out by missing it!
What about the result in the finals and number of goals scored?
Talking about the finals it might be interesting to see what Football Manager 2021 predicts the score will be. While we have had a number of different scores – everything from 0-0 to 2-7 the most frequent scores are either 1-0 (9x), 2-0 (4x) or 2-1 (3x).
In fact, the average amount of goals scored in the finals have been 2.7 goals.
The winners of Euro 2020 in FM21 has in average scored 13.36 goals throughout the tournament.
The nations who are topping the chart of the most goals scored in the competition has been:
Italy – 15.66
France – 15.5
Since I haven’t looked at the number of goals for each nation throughout each simulation it’s difficult to say anything about how likely they will score over 13 goals – but these three clubs have most frequently scored the most goals and topped the chart – due to the number of times they have reached the finals.
Euro 2020 Average Tournament Goals predicted by FM21
It’s not only the average amount of goals in the finals I’ve looked at. I’ve even looked at the total number of goals scored throughout all the Euro 2020 simulations.
The result has been everything from 130 to 150 goals scored. Actually, the average number of goals were 139.46 – that’s 2.73 goals scored per match.
In comparison to the Euro 2016 where the total goals scored were 108 goals which gave a rate of 2.12 per game, it seems Football Manager 2021 predicts attacking football will prevail at the Euros with many high-scoring matches.
Euro 2020 Golden Boot Winner According to Football Manager 2021
A topic of debate before the tournament kicks off is who will become the Euro 2020 Golden Boot winner. I’ve looked briefly at the subject by assessing the number of goals for some interesting players and counted the number of appearances and goals to find both how many goals they scored in average over the course of the total simulations and the average goals per match.
The three most frequent Golden Boot winners have been Kylian Mbappe, Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile. The Golden Boot award winner has in average scored 5.66 goals. The highest tally had Immobile with 9 goals in the tournament. The least goals were in simulation 8 where Miranchuk, Sterling and Immobile all got to record low 3 goals.
If we look at some players more specifically there might be some surprises.
P.S. In the current calculations, substitutions have been counted as a full match
In fact, while Romelu Lukaku has averaged 0.60 goals per game throughout 30 simulations – 98 goals in 162 appearances, Memphis Depay has scored 88 goals in 146 appearances – 0.60 goals per game.
Ciro Immobile does in fact top this chart with 97 goals in 158 appearances – 0.613 goals per game.
Now you might wonder about Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski scores. Here’s an overview of some other selected players.
NB! I have not counted all players goals and apperances. For instance, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo has not been assessed. CR7 actually retired before the Euro’s in most of my simulations.
Potential Euro 2020 Best Player Award Winners – According to FM21
The best player award in the Euro 2020 has often been given to the player with the highest average rating in my 30 Football Manager 2021 simulations. There are 4 players that has a tendency to stand out:
Harry Kane – 8x
Most interestingly, he has only won the Golden Boot award 1 time, but his goal tally shows that he regularly scores goals – most often from penalties.
Kylian Mbappe – 2x
Potential Euro 2020 Best Young Player Award Winners – According to FM21
The best young player of the tournament award is given to the best players under the age of 21 at the start of the calendar year. The most frequent winners in FM21 were:
Kylian Mbappe – 10x
Dejan Kulusevski – 5x
Matthijs de Ligt – 4x
Perhaps not surprising – but de Ligt has often received the award in those tournaments who have the lowest figure of total amount of goals scored (below 140 goals).
The Euro 2020 Assist King?
The most difficult to analyze with stats have been who will top the chart of the most assists in the Euro 2020. In my simulations the so-called assist kings have been anyone from Kylian Mbappe to Kevin de Bruyne, Nicolo Barella and Leon Goretzka. In fact we have even seen players like Toni Kroos, Joshua Kimmich and Dejan Kulusevski topping the chart with the player who leads the goalscoring chart often providing enough assists to top the assist chart as well.
What we can say something about is the average number of assists the potential leading the assist chart might record. Throughout my Football Manager 2021 simulations the ‘award’ has often gone to the player with more than 3 assists. The average number of assists are 3.7.
The number of assists was spread out like this:
- 4 (15x)
- 3 (12x)
- 5 (3x)
Is this the Euro 2020 Dream Team?
Let us know in the comments your Euro 2020 predictions!