Home I Sports Betting I Early Euro 2016 Preview from a Betting Point of View
2016 is a great year for all football fans! We will see the eagerly awaited EURO 2016 in France as well as an Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. So you are guaranteed to have football entertainment all throughout the year.
In this article we will focus on the EURO 2016. It is the more important tournament with only the best European players and teams competing against each other.
The opening match will be held in the legendary Stade de France in Paris on the 10th of June. That’s also where the final will take place four weeks later on the 10th of July.
There will be a total of 24 teams playing in six groups. We will try to give you an early outlook for the possible outcome of this tournament.
Our analysis will focus heavily on the top contenders for the title as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
The bookmakers are currently listing France as the favorite to win the title this year with odds of 4 to 3.
Germany is not too far behind at odds of 4 to 4, while Spain is taking the third space at 6 to 1. Those three teams are listed as the top contenders before going into the tournament.
France, Germany, Spain, England, Belgium, Italy, Portugal
France is listed as the top contender for the title. The team has the home-pitch advantage and has been proving their skills lately in victories over World Champion Germany and the secret favorite England.
The team is well balanced between offense and defense and their coach, Didier Deschamps, has already proven he is capable of winning titles with Le Grande Nation in the World Cup 1998.
France has a lot of young, but very talented players like Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and Raphael Varane.
The team has plenty of stars, their only concern might be that they lack experience, as they haven’t gone further than the Quarter Finals of a major tournament and therefore might be not able to handle the pressure.
With an experienced coach like Deschamps, we believe France is one of the top contenders for the title, right next to Germany.
Germany is the current World Champion and obviously capable of winning the EURO 2016. The team has a lot of experienced players, who won several international and national titles over the past few years.
Throughout the Qualification, the team seemed less motivated after its great victory at the World Cup 2014 in Brasil.
They lost some matches to weaker teams and overall were not playing as well as the critics or fans may have expected.
Nevertheless the actual tournament is different from the qualifying phase. Germany is the ultimate tournament team and will be fully focused when the tournament starts, as they have proven many times in the past before.
A team with Manuel Neuer as goalkeeper, Jerome Boateng in the defense, and brilliant players like Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, and Mesut Özil in the midfield is very likely to compete for the title once again. We expect “Die Mannschaft” to perform well this year and finish at least in the top 4.
Spain is still one of the best teams in Europe, but they aren’t the team they used to be in the early 2010’s.
Their showing in the World Cup 2014 was a sheer disaster, not even making it out of the group stage and were put to shame by a 1-5 loss against the Netherlands, who didn’t even make it to this year’s EURO 2016.
La Roja will need to bounce back from this huge upset and prove that they are still an elite team.
Players like Andres Iniesta, Diego Costa, and David Silva are world-class and a great example of Spain’s high-quality squad, which is currently undergoing a transformation of elder players leaving the National Team and younger ones being introduced.
The EURO is just the first tournament for a Spanish team in an upheaval. Spain will make it out of group stage, but then fall short in the Semi-Finals.
England has been recently making big steps towards becoming an absolute world-class team and their unbeaten performance in the qualifying phase is clear proof of that.
If we look at the history though, our expectations might be lowered. England won its only title more than 50 years ago.
Recent performances in big tournaments were all but good, however that shouldn’t be a reason for resignation.
Roy Hodgson has done a great job over the past two years building a team filled with young, talented players who are complementing one another on the field.
Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and Daniel Sturridge are all capable of scoring goals anytime and decide matches only by their individual strength. England’s offense is one of the best in Europe.
Although the players might not be as experienced in big international tournaments as players from the German or French team, it is almost guaranteed that England will make it out of the group stage at the very least. We expect them to finish in the Quarter or Semi-Finals.
Belgium was the secret favorite to win the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and was playing really well, but failed to beat Argentina, who came in second in the end.
The team is one of the youngest in the tournament with huge talents from the “Golden Generation” including such fantastic players as Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Marouane Fellaini.
Belgium has gained the much needed experience during the World Cup and seem to be ready to make the next step this year.
Marc Wilmots will be able to nominate high-quality players in all relevant parts of the squad, but will have to replace the injured captain, Vincent Kompany, who plays a main role in the team.
Belgium has a great team with enough potential overall to reach the Semi-Finals this year.
Italy is probably the most difficult team to rank this year. They are a traditional team with great defense, high experience and great players, but are also in the middle of a rebuild.
The recent results were not really satisfying the fans and important players retired, so their coach Antonio Conte had to make several adjustments. The team qualified for the European Championship by finishing first in their qualifying group, beating Croatia and Norway.
As always, Italy’s great strength is defense, but their weakness is offense. The team has scored only 16 goals in 10 games against rather weak opponents like Malta and Azerbaijan.
That means the squad is clearly missing great strikers from the past like Toni, Totti, or Del Piero. Conte can only nominate people with rather low profiles or not much international experience, which is urgently needed in such big competitions.
Depending on how stable the defense will be working, we can expect Italy to make its way out of group stage, but not finish higher than the Semi-Finals in the EURO 2016.
Is Portugal a title contender?
Well yes, but the team depends heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo once again. If he is in outstanding form and able to score a lot of goals, they will have a very small chance to win the title they were robbed of 12 years ago on home soil by Greece.
Portugal lost against the reigning champion Spain in 2012 in a penalty shootout, so it’s fair to say that they are a legit team with high ambitions.
Their team is not as star-powered as it used to be, but players like Nani, Joao Moutinho, and Pepe are definitely enough to make it far in the Euro 2016.
The team’s biggest weakness is the lack of world-class strikers, but this has been going on for years now so they should be able to deal with it.
It will be a big challenge for Fernando Santos’ team to match the previous European Championship result by finishing in the Semi-Finals.
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