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Euro 2020 Team of the Week - Kevin De Bruyne, Kai Havertz, Gareth Bale

Euro 2020 Team of the Week - De Bruyne, Havertz, Bale
© Reuters
Sports Mole selects its Euro 2020 team of the week for matchday two of the competition, including Kevin De Bruyne, Kai Havertz and Gareth Bale.

Belgium, Netherlands and Italy have all booked their spot in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020 with one match to spare, and it is set to be a fascinating battle for the other 13 positions in the final round of group-stage fixtures.

Russia climbed into second position in Group B courtesy of a 1-0 win over Finland on Wednesday afternoon, before Wales moved to within the brink of qualification, having recorded a 2-0 success over Turkey.

Italy were the first team to advance into the round of 16, as they recorded a 3-0 win over Switzerland, before Belgium joined them courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Denmark, who can still finish in one of the top two spots in Group B.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Ukraine boosted their hopes of qualification with a 2-1 success over North Macedonia, while the Netherlands made sure of top position in Group C with a 2-0 victory over Austria.

On Friday, Sweden moved to the top of Group E with a 1-0 win over Slovakia, and they have stayed there, as Spain were held to a 1-1 draw with Poland on Saturday, meaning that the section is still wide open.

England's group is also fascinating, as the Three Lions were held to a goalless draw by Scotland on Friday, while Croatia drew 1-1 with the Czech Republic. The top two – Czech Republic and England – meet on Tuesday, while Scotland will be looking to get the job done against Croatia in their final group match.

Saturday, as mentioned, saw Spain held by Poland, while France had to come from behind to pick up a point against Hungary; Germany then recorded a 4-2 success over Portugal, leaving Group F delicately poised, as France sit top, with Germany now in second and Portugal in third.

Here, Sports Mole selects its Euro 2020 team of the week from the second set of fixtures at this summer's competition.



DEFENCE

Hungary's Attila Fiola celebrates scoring against France at Euro 2020 on June 19, 2021© Reuters

Peter Gulacsi's performance for Hungary on Saturday was a key contributor to his side picking up a point against the world champions France. The 31-year-old only actually made three saves over the course of the 90 minutes, but his overall work between the sticks was excellent, as he continued to collect the ball under pressure and made those around him calm during an intense game.

The two full-backs in this XI come from the Netherlands and Germany, with Denzel Dumfries and Robin Gosens in the side. The former was excellent in a right-sided wing-back role against Austria and was on the scoresheet in the second half, with the goal capping a fine display from the 25-year-old.

Gosens, meanwhile, was the star of the show in Germany's 4-2 win over Portugal, with the 26-year-old providing a goal and an assist against the reigning champions. Gosens found it difficult to contribute in his first game against France but put in a brilliant display against Fernando Santos's side.

The two centre-back spots in the XI are handed to Scotland's Kieran Tierney and Hungary's Attila Fiola. Tierney, who returned from injury to line up at the back for Steve Clarke's side, defended superbly against England, as the Scots put in a strong performance to pick up a point.

Fiola, meanwhile, was on the scoresheet for Hungary against France; he played in a wing-back role against the tournament favourites but has been dropped back into a central spot for this side, as he simply could not be left out.



MIDFIELD

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring against Denmark at Euro 2020 on June 17, 2021© Reuters

In midfield, there simply had to be a spot for Billy Gilmour, who was excellent in Scotland's goalless draw with England. The Chelsea midfielder controlled the tempo of the contest for long spells, with the 20-year-old outclassing the likes of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips during a brilliant display.

Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, came off the bench to inspire Belgium to a 2-1 win over Denmark on Thursday. The Manchester City attacker announced his arrival at the competition with the assist for Thorgan Hazard to make it 1-1 before netting Belgium's second in the 70th minute, and his return from a facial injury has come at a crucial time for Roberto Martinez's side.

Italy have arguably been the most impressive team at Euro 2020 thus far, and Manuel Locatelli starred in their 3-0 win over Switzerland on Wednesday. The midfielder, who is being linked with a move to the Premier League, scored twice for the Italians during what was a fine all-round display against the Swiss.

The Netherlands' Frenkie de Jong is unfortunate to miss out, as he was excellent against Austria, while Adam Nagy and Laszlo Kleinheisler were both impressive in the middle of the Hungarian midfield against France. Wales's Aaron Ramsey also put in a fine display against Turkey on Wednesday and only just misses out.



ATTACK

Wales attacker Gareth Bale pictured at Euro 2020 on June 16, 2021 © Reuters

It was relatively easy to pick the front three in our first team of the week, as Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick all scored braces, but the goals dried up, in terms of the forwards, in the second set of fixtures.

There were still some outstanding performances, though, and there is no question that Gareth Bale deserves a spot in the XI due to his display in Wales's 2-0 win over Turkey. The Real Madrid attacker missed a penalty but provided two assists in Baku to play in a leading role in his side picking up a huge win.

Kai Havertz, meanwhile, starred in Germany's 4-2 win over Portugal on Saturday evening, with the Chelsea attacker finding the back of the net and playing a key role in his team's first of the contest. Portugal found it difficult to deal with the 22-year-old, as he continued to find space in forward areas, which allowed the two German wing-backs to drive forward time after time.

The final position in this XI goes to Ukraine's Andriy Yarmolenko, who found the back of the net in the 29th minute against North Macedonia before turning provider for Roman Yaremchuk. The 31-year-old showed excellent leadership during his 70 minutes on the field and deserves his spot in the side.

Ciro Immobile just misses out for the second week in a row, having again found the back of the net in Italy's 3-0 win over Switzerland. Meanwhile, Alexander Isak deserves a special mention for his fine performance in Sweden's 1-0 win over Slovakia. Robert Lewandowski is also unfortunate to be left out, having secured Poland a point against Spain with a goal in the second period.

Ronaldo was also close to being in the side once again despite being on the losing team on Saturday, as the Juventus attacker scored and provided an assist for Portugal in their 4-2 defeat to Germany in Munich.



SPORTS MOLE'S EURO 2020 TEAM OF THE WEEK

Euro 2020 TOTW 2

Sports Mole's Euro 2020 team of the week (4-3-3): Gulacsi: Dumfries, Fiola, Tierney, Gosens; De Bruyne, Gilmour, Locatelli; Yarmolenko, Havertz, Bale


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Friday's key events


HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

BEACH VOLLEYBALL
· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

BOXING
· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

CYCLING
· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

FOOTBALL
· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

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