We’ve been made to wait for it, but Euro 2020 is finally here, and the excitement among Wales fans is starting to build.
Sadly, they won’t be back in the same sort of numbers we saw in France in 2016, but that won’t stop the Red Wall dreaming of another special summer.
From Rob Page’s point of view, all of the focus will be on his side’s opening game against Switzerland in Baku on Saturday, but up and down the nation there will be fans out there carefully studying the schedule, speculatively plotting the best route for glory this summer.
It really is a time to dream.
So then, if Wales are to go one better than 2016 and reach the final, how can they do it?
Here’s the full breakdown.
First thing’s first.
Wales have to navigate what is, on paper at least, a very tricky group.
Italy will surely be the favourites, and one suspects Switzerland will be the main rivals for second place, although Turkey certainly cannot be discounted.
Saturday, June 12 – Group A: Wales vs Switzerland ; Kick-off 2pm (Baku)
Wednesday, June 16 – Group A: Turkey vs Wales: Kick-off 5pm (Baku)
Sunday, June 20 – Group A: Italy vs Wales; Kick-off 5pm (Rome)
Round of 16
Should Wales repeat their efforts in 2016 and win the group, they will take on the runners-up in Group C, which is likely to be either Austria or Ukraine, at Wembley.
If they happen to finish second, then the most likely opponents will be Denmark in Amsterdam, with the Danes widely tipped to finish behind expected Group B winners Belgium.
Should Wales finish as one of the best-performing third-placed sides, they could play Belgium in Seville, or one of France, Germany or Portugal in Bucharest.
Alternatively, they could face expected Group E winners Spain in Glasgow.
If Wales win Group A
Saturday, June 26 – Group A winners vs Group C runners-up; Kick-off 8pm (London)
If Wales come second in Group A
Saturday, June 26 – Group A runners-up vs Group B runners-up; Kick-off 5pm (Amsterdam)
If Wales go through in third place
Sunday, June 27 – Group B winners vs third-placed side from Group A/D/E/F; Kick-off 8pm (Seville)
Monday, June 28 – Group F winners vs third-placed side from Group A/B/C; Kick-off 8pm (Bucharest)
Tuesday, June 29 – Group E winners vs third-placed side Group A/B/C/D; Kick-off 8pm (Glasgow)
Should Wales win the group and are then victorious in the last 16, it seems their most likely opponent would be – yep – Belgium.
A quarter-final showdown in Munich seems tricky, but there are likely to be plenty of other big names potentially awaiting Page’s men.
Should they finish second in their group and then win their last 16 tie, it will be a return to Baku, with the Netherlands the most likely opponents.
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If they do the same after finishing third in their group, it gets a little more complicated.
They could potentially be reunited with Group A rivals Italy in Munich, or potentially one of Croatia, Poland, Sweden, and even England in St Petersburg.
A showdown with one of France, Germany or Portugal could also be on the cards in Rome.
If Wales win Group A and win round of 16 game
Friday, July 2 – Kick-off 8pm (Munich)
If Wales finish second in Group A and win round of 16 game
Saturday, July 3 – Kick-off 5pm (Baku)
If Wales finish as one of four best third-place teams and win round of 16 game
Friday, July 2 – Kick-off 5pm (St Petersburg)
Friday, July 2 – Kick-off 8pm (Munich)
Saturday, July 3 – Kick-off 8pm (Rome)
Should Wales win their group and their first two knockout ties, they would most likely face one of France, Germany or Portugal, depending on who would win the group F, although there is still a chance that they could play England, Croatia, Poland or Ukraine.
The chance to put England out of the tournament at Wembley is likely to hold some appeal to a fair number of Wales fans, but world champions France will surely be considered the most likely to progress.
Should Wales finish second, they could also face one of the sides from Group F, and indeed England or Spain.
In the event Wales finish third in their group and eventually emerge victorious in St Petersburg, it seems highly likely that one of Belgium or Italy will be awaiting them in the semi-finals.
If their travels take them back to Rome in the quarter-finals on the back of a third-placed group finish, they might well face Switzerland or Denmark, but their most likely opponents in the semi-finals would surely be the Netherlands.
July 6-7 – Kick-off 8pm (London)
Should Wales navigate all that, it would then lead them to the final at Wembley on July 11.