Back of the Net’s alternative Group E preview (ft. the other BBC)

Group E is likely to be one of Euro 2016’s most competitive, because all the teams in it have the potential to be quite bad...

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The teams

Ireland’s opening fixture against Sweden should go some way towards determining whether the black stuff or the brown stuff will be flowing back home.

Belgium can boast some magnificently strong substitutes, so you would have to back them if a fight were to break out on the touchline.

Belgium bench

"Lads, the game kicked off five minutes ago"

Italy are missing a world-class midfield through injury, while Sweden are missing a world-class midfield due to the vicissitudes of fate.

The players

Vincent Kompany succumbed to injury before the tournament, denying Belgian fans the chance to see him succumb to injury after 10 minutes of their opening game.

John O’Shea’s experience will be crucial for Ireland, though he is vulnerable to lapses in concentration that can last up to 17 years.

John O'Shea

"What am I like, eh?"

Italy’s back three of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini has been called ‘the BBC’ because they are vocal critics of Jeremy Corbyn, while Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic will hope to underline his status as an elite brand identity with wide cross-platform appeal.

The managers

Ireland’s Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane are respectively an iron fist in a velvet glove, and an iron fist in an iron glove covered in iron spikes tipped with steel.

Antonio Conte pulls off the having-long-hair-but-still-looking-massively-hard look that is only available to Italians and Tibetan mastiffs.

Sweden’s Erik Hamren will leave his post this summer after seven years of taking credit for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Marc Wilmots proves that Belgium’s once-in-a-generation array of football talent does not extend to the bench.

Back of the Net expert tip

Use frozen grapes instead of ice cubes to chill white wine without diluting it.

Group A • Group B • Group C • Group D • Group E • Group F

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