There is a veritable football feast heading the way of sports bettors and fans this summer, as Euro 2020 gets bumped back a year to span across June and July of 2021. Much has changed in the football landscape in those twelve months with the European Super League’s odds of getting up and running being blown out the water after being met by fierce resistance in England, and new stars of the world game announcing themselves in domestic leagues. Here we give a rundown of what to expect at this summer’s European Championships, as Portugal try to defend their crown, the World Cup winning French attempt to live up to their billing as the betting favourites according to oddschecker, and the English dream of featuring in a final held at their beloved Wembley.
The English national stadium will feature a good portion of the Euro 2020 fixtures, including all of England’s group games and even the showcase final
All the usual suspects are being touted by the bookmakers and sports media pundits in the runup to Euro 2020, although these championships will be different, with the games being spread out across the continent, giving home advantage to some teams and not to others, something all bettors and fans must keep in mind.
The French were not overly worried by not having home advantage in Russia in 2018 as they cruised to a World Cup triumph. Didier Deschamps found the perfect formula, to knit a group of individuals into a slick team. Les Bleus look even stronger this time around and have the Euro 2020 odds to prove it, with Kylian Mbappé the most feared striker in world football, and others like Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann coming into some hot late season form.
The only thing that could hold the French back is the fact they have been drawn in the tournament’s group of death, Group F, which also features Germany, Portugal, and Hungary. The Portuguese also look stronger than when they won Euro 2016, with Bruno Fernandes, Rúben Dias, and Bernardo Silva all reaching major European club finals this season. That all means that Germany could find themselves out in the cold, especially as they seem to be in transition, as it is generally accepted that long-time head coach Joachim Löw has held onto the post for too long.
Other teams that could cut serious swathes through the knockout phases include an England side packed with talent, as well as Belgium, who have the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne playing out of their skin at club level.
There are a few dark horses that could pull a Greece, and stun the footballing establishment this summer
The Dark Horses
Everyone remembers the Greek side of 2004, beating Portugal in the European Championship final, having displayed a masterclass in tactical and defensive knowhow.
Sports bettors are always keen to unearth the next big upset, and there are plenty of teams at the 2021 tournament who could deliver.
Croatia are one of those. Having reached the final of the World Cup, they are being priced with ridiculously long odds to repeat the feat this summer.
Another similarly underrated team are the Italians, who having failed to qualify for the World Cup will be chomping at the bit to go deep in the draw. They have also strung together a scary number of clean sheets in the lead-up to the championships.
Plucky underdogs are always a welcome addition to any major footy event, and few come as small as North Macedonia. A country with a population of just 2 million, this is the first time they have ever featured at a major championship.
Their main man is also their record goal scorer, in the form of Goran Pandev. The striker who plies his trade in Serie A for Genoa will have his eye on some major acts of giant killing in Group C. With flaky teams around them like Ukraine, Austria, and the Dutch, you would not bet against them at least picking up a few hard-earned points.