The ‘UEFA EURO 2020’ was supposed to be long concluded by now, however, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the entire tournament back to 2021, and this weekend it finally gets underway! 24 of the best nations in the world will compete in the month long tournament to be crowned champions of Europe.
For the sake of continuity, the tournament is still being called ‘EUROS 2020’ despite being in 2021, so we’ll continue to call it that throughout our coverage.
We have a full preview and betting tips for the tournament below, and we’ll also be posting our nightly game betting tips on our Twitter page, so be sure to head there and follow.
The first group in the 2020 Euros might be one of the easier ones to pick. The No.7 ranked team in Italy will headline the group and start as firm favourites to finish on top. They are flanked by 13th ranked Switzerland, 17th ranked Wales and 29th ranked Turkey. The Italians will be led by the likes of captain Giorgio Chiellini and talented forwards Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne. They will be abasolutely desperate to bounce back from their heartbreaking failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and I expect them to do advance past the group stage here.
If you’re looking for value in this group though, I don’t mind the look of Turkey. After being a nation that was just there to make up the numbers in previous tournaments, Turkey have developed some star players in recent years and now field a team that is full of players playing at top tier clubs.
Belgium is the clear standout in Group B but they aren’t as short of a price to take the group as some others due to some feisty opponents in the likes of Denmark and Russia. Belgium has threatened as one of the best teams in the world over the past five years, culminating in a semi-final berth in the 2018 World Cup. They’ll be looking to go one step further and capture their first significant piece of silverware.
Value in this group might come in the form of Finland to qualify for the knockout stage. Since there are six groups, the best four 3rd placed teams also advance to the knockout stage, so at $3.50, Finland are decent value here. Belgium should top the group though.
Group C is where I think there is some fantastic value. Netherlands start as clear favourites but they haven’t set the world alight since their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. They dropped games to Italy and Mexico in 2020 and then lost 4-2 to Turkey in the World Cup qualifiers earlier this year. If there is a heavy group favourite that fails to top their group I think it could be the Dutch.
Of the other contenders, the Ukraine looks to be the strongest. They are currently the 24th ranked team in the world and are yet to lose a game in 2021, capturing draws and wins against the likes of France, Finland and Kasakhstan.
Another group where there could be a bit of value sees the two World Cup semi-finalist rivals in England and Croatia going at it. The two teams met in a thrilling game in the penultimate round of the 2018 World Cup and both will no doubt be keen to re-ignite the rivalry. These two teams are extremely evenly matched and should finish 1-2 in the group. Croatia are such good value here at $4.50 with their main opponents being an English side they have had great success over in recent years.
Another group that is likely to be a bit of a whitewash here. Spain are one of the powerhouses of world football, currently ranked No.5 in the FIFA World Rankings. They were upset by host nation Russia in the Round of 16 in the 2018 World Cup and will be desperate to bounce back and pick up another piece of silverware. They have entered an extremely strong squad led by superstars in the likes of Busquets, de Gea and Koke. Should romp this group home, beating out Poland, Sweden and Slovakia.
How this group came to be I will never know. At the time the pots were created, Portugal were ranked 13th in the world, so were put into Pot 3, easily the best team in that pot. They are now ranked No.5 in the world and find themselves in a group alongside two more of the best teams in the world in France (No.2) and Germany (No.12).
I could easily make a case for any one of these three teams to top this group. The group consists of the last two World Cup winners and the reigning champions of the Euros. My advice, stay well away from this group.
It’s hard for me to back France, Germany or Portugal to win this tournament as any one of them could potentially be bounced in the group stage. They would, however, be three of my top picks as their form is just undeniable at the moment.
Outside of those three, I really like the Belgian side heading into this tournament. They are yet to win a major piece of silverware and this squad is now at the stage where the majority of their key players are right in the prime of their career. Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois are all amongst the best players in the world and with some pretty easy matchups in the group stage, they should be able to set themselves up for a deep run with a high seed in the knockout stage.
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