Euro 2020 (Played in 2021) Preview
The second biggest international tournament in the world begins June 11
We've had to wait an extra year, but the European Championships will get underway soon. Short of the World Cup, this is the biggest international competition the world of soccer has to offer. Games will be played in 11 different host cities with the finals culminating at Wembley in London on July 11th. The top two teams in each group are guaranteed a spot in the final 16, as well as the four best 3rd place finishers. Let's take a look at the 6 groups and offer some insight into what might happen over this exciting 30 days.
*** Below are previews for every group. These are not our official plays.
If you wish to get our official betting card (futures and individual game by game bets) for this tournament (and all our plays moving forward) please email us at email@example.com or DM us on Twitter @Soccer_Winners.
Group A (Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales)
This group will see it's games played in Rome, Italy and Baku, Azerbaijan. Italy has been set as the favorites to win this group with a price around -170 (1.59). Italy will host all three of it's group stage games in Rome so it's hard to argue with the betting line here. Switzerland comes in next at +450 (5.5) followed by Turkey at +550 (6.5) and Wales at +700 (8.0). This is one of the most even groupings of teams 2-4. Switzerland has a good history of making it to the knockout stage in big tournaments, Turkey comes in with good form (3 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss last 5 competitive games) and Wales is a solid if unspectacular side that can never be counted out.
Italy has no shortage of goal scorers with the likes of Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti and Lorenzo Insigne just to name a few. If 'gli Azzurri' can get it rolling offensively, they are as dangerous as any side in the entire tournament.
Turkey's good form includes wins against Netherlands and Norway in March as well as a win over Russia in late 2020. While they don't boast a ton of top-end talent, they appear to be gelling as a team heading into the Euros. Turkey is very much live to advance to the knock-out stage.
Switzerland come in off a nice friendly win over the USA and had a 3-0 win over Ukraine and an impressive 1-1 draw vs Spain in late 2020, both on home soil. The Swiss lack the top-end scoring talent of some of the sides, but they play very sound football and have a strong mid-field which keeps them in games.
Tottenham man, Gareth Bale will lead the charge for Wales and while they are the longest shot to win Group A they are anything but a weak side as evidenced by winning four of their last five competitive fixtures. In recent friendlies, Wales beat a strong Mexico side and worked a 0-0 draw with the USA.
Group B (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Russia)
Belgium is the #1 ranked side in the world by the FIFA rankings, but they don't look invincible. The group stage games here are being held in Copenhagen, Denmark and St Petersburg, Russia so they are going to play two of their three group stage games as true visitors! Add to that the injury concern for one of the best midfielders in the world in Kevin De Bruyne and this group could be a little more open than the odds suggest. Belgium have been installed as the betting favorites to win the group at -135 (1.74) followed by Denmark at +260 (3.6), Russia at +425 (5.25) and Finland as the clear outsiders +1800 (19.0).
Denmark get the benefit of hosting all three of their games and enter in fine form, having gone 6W, 1D, 2L in their last 9 competitive matches. However, both of those losses came against Belgium! A win and a draw against England in that same stretch proves that the Danes can hang with any club out there on their day. Denmark have seen their odds to win outright cut more than in half since March, so their is plenty of betting steam on them as well.
Russia will host two of it's three games with the only exception being in Copenhagen against Denmark. Russia isn't loaded with stars from the big European leagues but are always tough on home soil. Them hosting two games just adds to the drama in Group B.
Finland are a clear outsider here, but what an accomplishment for them to qualify for their first major tournament. The Finns are led by Norwich striker, Teemu Puuki who has some fitness questions entering the Euros. If they are to take any points from their fixtures, they will need him healthy and scoring goals.
Group C (Austria, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Ukraine)
We have a clear favorite in Group C and it's obviously the Dutch -240 (1.42). This appears, on paper to be one of the weaker groups in the competition. Doesn't mean we might not see some surprises though! Netherlands will also benefit by hosting all of its games in Amsterdam. The other host site for Group C games is Bucharest, Romania. Netherlands boasts a strong squad with solid depth but are weakened a bit (just as Liverpool was) by the absence of one of the best defenders in the world, Virgil van Dijk.
Next up in the betting markets is Ukraine +450 (5.5). Like so many teams, Ukraine are a much better side when on home soil and they will not have that advantage here but they will get to play their last two games (vs N Macedonia and Austria) in neighboring Romania.
Austria checks in next at +500 (6.0) odds to win the group. The Austrians are a solid side with a world ranking of 23 (one spot ahead of Ukraine at 24). This team boasts a lot who play their club football in the German Bundesliga among other top leagues. Austria finished the March window of the World Cup Qualifiers with a 0-4 home defeat to Denmark which may be causing them to fly under the radar a bit.
North Macedonia are the outsiders in this group with odds of +2200 (23.0) being the 2nd longest of any team to win their group. Only Hungary are lower and that's only because of the quality of group they are in which we will get to in a bit. Much like Finland in Group B, North Macedonia's win was qualifying for this prestigious tournament! But a recent shock win at Germany proves they are not misplaced in this event.
Group D (Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Scotland)
Group D is led by tournament co-favorites +500 (6.0), England. The Three Lions have everything lined up for them to win this tournament and are -260 (1.38) to start by winning their group. England will only have to leave London once should they win this group as not only are all three of their group games at Wembley, but so is the Round of 16 knockout game for the winner of this group! With the semi-finals and final also at Wembley, only the quarterfinal fixture would not be a home game (if they don't win the group, the Round of 16 game is not in London). England is loaded with talent all over the field and if anything, it creates real challenges for manager Gareth Southgate to pick the right combination to be successful. It feels to us that nobody is under more pressure heading into this tournament than Southgate and every decision he makes will be questioned should they lose.
Second choice in Group D is Croatia +333 (4.33) to win the group. The 2018 World Cup runners-up have a recent history of making deep runs on the biggest stage. They also enter this competition battle-tested as their group in the UEFA Nations League included France, Portugal and Sweden. They only won one of those six games, but only their 1-4 defeat at Portugal wasn't a close game and even that one was 0-1 into the 58th minute.
The Czech Republic check in with odds of +1000 (11.0) to win Group D. We wouldn't be shocked if they finish bottom of this group as their likely rival to avoid that is Scotland who they lost to twice recently and who will host their head to head game in Glasgow.
Scotland is +1600 (26.0) to win this group and while that may be a long-shot, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they qualify for the knockout stages which you can get at +130 (2.3). As we said above, Glasgow is the second site for Group D games. Here Scotland will host Czech Republic match-day 1 and Croatia match-day 3 sandwiched in between is the match-up with England at Wembley. If Scotland can win the opener they are likely into the Round of 16 or if they can get a Croatia who is already qualified in the final game, they may be able to sneak in with a win or draw there.
Group E (Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden)
Spain is not only the clear favorite here, but the heaviest favorite in any of the groups -280 (1.36). Not only do Spain also host all their group stage matches in Seville, but they are an extremely strong side in what looks to be a bit of a weaker group. Spain have just one loss in their last 22 fixtures (all competitions) including a 6-0 drubbing of Germany in late 2020. There is some value on Spain in the outright market at +800 (9.0) but what's causing them to not be higher is their potential path. The winner from this group, the winner of Group D and the 2nd team from Group F are all in the same quarter-final pod. So that likely means Spain having to face England, France, Germany or Portugal in the quarters. But hey, you gotta beat the best to win it right?
Robert Lewandowski led Poland have the second best odds to win Group E at +550 (6.5). St. Petersburg, Russia is the second host site for Group E games. Poland will play both Slovakia and Sweden there and travel to Spain to play the favorites in match-day 2. Poland are a lot like Croatia as they were also in a very tough group in the Nation's League with Italy and The Netherlands. They drew with Italy at home and the other three games were all 1 or 2 goal losses so they come in having played top sides tough. If Lewandowski can continue on his record-setting goal form, Poland should find their way into the knock-out stage.
Sweden have odds of +600 (7.0) to win the group. Sweden didn't fare quite as well as Croatia in that Nations League group we mentioned earlier, but this is a team with plenty of players you'll recognize from the top European leagues and won't be outclassed in this group.
While Slovakia are the longest odds in this group +1400 (24.0) they are among the stronger "4th" sides as they are currently ranked 36th in the world. The Slovakians have a recent win in WC Qualifiers over Russia so cannot be taken lightly. While their doesn't appear to be a strong challenger to Spain to win Group E, the 2-4 places could be very interesting!
Group F (France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal)
Last but not least, this tournament's "Group of Death". Every major tournament has one, and this is no exception! Let's start with the world rankings:
Next, add the fact that Portugal is the defending champion of this competition and France is the reigning World Cup champion. Then, let's make it even tougher and allow the next best (still very strong) team, Germany, to host their games in Munich! Oh and I forgot to mention, Hungary will host two of it's three games in Budapest and comes in having not lost in their last 9 fixtures.
France is co-favorite to win Group F +140 (2.4) and the tournament +500 (6.0) but there will be no easy wins here for them. Starting off with Germany in Munich, then to Budapest to play Hungary on their home soil and wrapping it up with a game that will likely be meaningful in some way with Portugal in Budapest.
There's plenty of incentive to win this group to play a 3rd place team from groups A,B or C in the Round of 16. The runner up from Group F could have a Round of 16 clash with England in London!
Germany are the other co-favorites +140 (2.4) and while they are the third team from a rankings standpoint, hosting the games in Munich is a nice equalizer for them. Germany's form hasn't been outstanding lately including that 0-6 loss in Spain we referred to earlier and a home defeat 1-2 vs North Macedonia in March. We will learn a lot out about the German's future right out of the gate as they host France as the last game in match-day 1 on Tuesday, June 15.
Portugal are the defending champions here and the trophy is theirs until taken from them. Their odds to win Group F +325 (4.25) tell you just how tough this group is. The Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes led side will open at Hungary also on June 15th, then travel to Munich to face Germany before wrapping up with France in Budapest.
Hungary are among the hotter teams entering this tournament and in many groups would have a great shot to make it to the knockout stages, but it will be tough for them with these three titans awaiting them. But strong form means high confidence and playing two matches on home soil may give them a punchers chance.
It should be an incredible 30 days of action when the Euros kick off on Friday, June 11th in Rome! Our members have 16 futures placed so far (group winners, group order of finish, top goalscorers, outright winners) and we will be making picks on many of the individual games as well. Contact us if you would like to join in on the action. Our membership is good for life and includes every play we ever make!
We will leave you with 2 #FreePicks as a sample of what our members have:
Italy to win Group A -170 (1.59)
Despite the price, we think their odds should be much higher
Robert Lewandowski Top Goal-Scorer +2500 (35.0)
We see Poland reaching the knock-out stage and potentially even the quarter-finals. If that happens, Lewa will be a big reason why and he could steal this trophy at nice odds
Let's enjoy an incredible tournament together. Best of luck to us all!
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