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UEFA Euro 2016 preview: All you need to know about the tournament

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 June 2016, 12:51 IST

With an expanded 24-team format, the 2016 edition of UEFA Euro Cup is set to start on Friday, 10 June, with hosts France taking on Romania in the first game of the tournament.

Defending champions Spain will hope to bury the ghosts of their 2014 World Cup disaster when they start their title defence on 13 June.

On the other hand, both France and Germany are among the favourites to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy next month, with both sides arguably possessing two of the strongest squads on paper.

Former champions Italy will hope to improve their 2012 campaign, where they finished as the runners-up, when they start their campaign on Monday, 13 June, against Belgium.

The 24 teams in the tournament have been divided into six groups, with 16 teams set to progress to the first knockout round.

The groups

Group A: France, Romania, Albania and Switzerland

Group B: England, Russia, Wales and Slovakia

Group C: Germany, Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland

Group D: Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia

Group E: Belgium, Italy, Ireland and Sweden

Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria and Hungary

The schedule

Group stages - 10-22 June

Round of 16 - 25-27 June

Quarter-finals - 30 June to 3 July

Semi-finals - 6 and 7 July

Final - 10 July.

10 players to watch out for

Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal

Gareth Bale - Wales

Antoine Griezmann - France

Thomas Muller - Germany

Robert Lewandowski - Poland

Harry Kane - England

Kevin de Bruyne - Belgium

David de Gea - Spain

Paul Pogba - France

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Sweden

The rookies

Five teams are making their debuts in the competition this term, namely Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Wales.

All these five sides are rank outsiders to win the tournament, with Wales at 80/1 enjoying the best odds from bookmakers, among the debutants, to win the tournament.

Television timings

France and Romania will kick off the tournament at 12.30 am on Saturday, 11 June (Indian Standard Time - IST).

All the games will be shown live on Sony Six and Sony ESPN, with the broadcaster roping in Abu Dhabi-based English TV presenter Joe Morrison to host the pre, mid and post-match shows.

First published: 10 June 2016, 12:51 IST