Europe’s showcase football tournament is coming to Dublin

Thousands of football fans will be heading to Dublin next summer to watch the 2020 European Championships.

Ireland’s capital city is one of 12 that will host games at the tournament with three group stage matches and one Round of 16 match due to be played at the Aviva Stadium.

Fans of the Republic of Ireland will be hoping their team can qualify ahead of the second phase of the ticket application process which opens on December 2019.

The Stadium

The Aviva Stadium was built between 2007 and 2010 on the site of the old Lansdowne Road Stadium. It was officially opened on May 14, 2010 and is the home of the Irish rugby union team as well as the Republic of Ireland football team. The stadium has a capacity of 51,700 and will host a total of four games at the 2020 tournament.

If the Republic of Ireland qualifies, they will be guaranteed two home matches during the group stage.

The stadium is located on the banks of the River Dodder just 10 minutes from the city centre and Connolly train station.

What’s more, the stadium is just 14km away from the city’s airport and can be accessed from there via rail in under 50 minutes.

Can the Republic of Ireland qualify?

Ireland’s qualifying campaign got off to a flying start with three wins and two draws from their first five matches but Mick McCarthy’s men face tough competition from Denmark and Switzerland for a place in the top two of Group D.

Their next match is away to Georgia on October 12 followed by a trip to Switzerland three days later before they end their campaign with a home match against Denmark in November.

If they fail to finish in the top two, they may still earn a place in the playoffs depending on the results in the other groups. The play-off places are determined by how each team performed in last year’s nation’s league competition. With teams like Portugal, Serbia and Wales struggling in their respective groups, the Republic of Ireland football team stand a good chance of making the play-offs should they finish outside of the top two.

The manager

Mick McCarthy previously managed the team between 1996 and 2002 and took them to the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan after beating Iran in the play-offs.

The team reached the second round before losing to Spain via a penalty shootout. Before returning to the job in 2018, he spent six years at English Championship side Ipswich Town, after a number of other roles, but was unable to achieve promotion to the Premier League – although he did take the club to the play-offs.

How to get tickets

The first round of Euro 2020 ticket applications took place on July 2019 when UEFA received a record amount of applications. Fans of national teams that qualify will be able to apply for more tickets in December 2019.

Fans who cannot attend will be given the option to put their tickets up for resale in spring 2020. There are three categories of tickets ranging from €50 to €185. However, demand for tickets is expected to far outweigh supply.

Who are the favourites to win?

It is no surprise that France will kick off as tournament favourites with the bookies. Didier Deschamps men are the reigning world champions and the third-ranked team in the world. However, they were beaten 2-0 by Turkey in a recent European qualification match a few months ago and remain below Belgium and Brazil in the FIFA World Rankings.

World Cup semi-finalists England are second favourites and could benefit from the fact that they will play most of their games at Wembley including the semi-final and final should they make it that far. Gareth Southgate’s men are ranked fourth in the world and have been in good form in 2019.

Belgium are many people’s tip to take the title. Roberto Martinez’s men have risen to No. 1 in the world rankings following a string of strong performances since finishing third at last year’s World Cup finals in Russia. Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland are priced at 150/1 to lift the trophy.

Getting tickets

Anyone looking to travel to Dublin to watch Euro 2020 next summer should make sure they have registered their interest for tickets on the UEFA website and reserved their accommodation in advance with thousands of fans expected to descend on the city to soak up the party atmosphere.

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