Football fans from all over the world waited more than 2 years for another major national tournament. Just a few weeks before the official start of Euro 2016, most teams have named their first squads and are currently preparing for their last friendlies, while fans are waiting for the UEFA Champions League final on the 28th of May in order to finish all club competitions for this year.
After that major event, all eyes will concentrate on the tournament in France. The question on everyone’s mouth before the tournament is the same as every year: which team will emerge victorious?
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The current holders of the competition, the Spanish side also won the title in 2008. The generation that helped them lift both titles saw some players retire from the national side (Xavi being the most notable one) while others (Pedro, Fabregas, Iniesta) are considered to be out of their prime form.
Undoubtedly, if Spain want to mount a serious title challenge, they have to rely on new blood like Paco Alcacer or Nolito along with some older, but still great players like Iniesta, Ramos or Busquets. The general consensus is that this Spain team is at a turning point between two generations and won’t be able to go all the way this year. Can they surprise us and go all the way?
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Betting Odds Spain:
World Cup holders Germany come to France with mainly the same squad that lifted the title in Brazil just two years ago. Some players (Ozil, Schurrle, Muller, Hummels or Kroos) have matured and are now world-class stars, while others have retired and won’t be representing the nation this year.
Although people might question the inclusion of some players in the squad (Gomez, Podolski, Khedira, Schweinsteiger to name a few), this German squad is clearly filled with talent of all kinds. Starting from goal, this team goes from strength to strength and has a great head coach leading them from the bench. They are clearly one of the favorites for this year’s tournament.
Betting Odds Germany: 2.62 with Coral, 2.75 with Bet365
After a rather disappointing World Cup and some very forgettable appearances in recent final tournaments, France are looking to return to their glory days on home ground. And their squad for Euro 2016 is clearly one which can go all the way. We challenge you to pick your 3 forwards for the 4-3-3 that coach Deschamps usually aligns.
Do you want Martial, Payet, and Giroud from the Premier league? Or Griezmann, Gignac and Coman? Back them up with the likes of Pogba, Kante, Cabaye and Matuidi and you’ve got a great team, and we haven’t even discussed defenders like Sagna, Digne or Koscielny. Many people believe that this French squad has the power to go all the way. Their first representation is the opening on June 10th against Romania.
Betting Odds France: 2.75 with Bet365, 3.00 with Coral
Every year we have a team that is a surprise inclusion along the contenders and this year Belgium seems to be the one. They only seem surprising if you aren’t familiar with their squad. Sure, lack of experience as a team can hinder their progress, but when you have players like Hazard, Lukaku , De Bruyne, Origi , Courtois or Nainggolan in your squad, you can dream to go all the way.
They also have a rather easy group, so we are looking forward to seeing them matched with tough opponents in the knockout rounds. Their star player, Eden Hazard, only recently got back to his best form and seems to be prepared to peak during Euro 2016.
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Betting Odds Belgium:
England is on every possible winner’s list for every major competition but never live up to the initial expectation. This year can be different because of the new intake of domestic players in the Premier League. Since their last outing, players like Kane, Alli, Rashford or Vardy have joined the squad and seem to be hungry for success. With a hint of luck, this English team can produce a surprise.
Betting Odds England:
All in all, Euro 2016 is sure to be a tight affair. There are so many different playstyles, so many good players and so much room to innovate that nobody can simply walk on the field expecting to win easily. At the end of the day, it will come down to the determination and willpower of each time, along with a small hint of luck and the player’s ability to play even more hard games after an exhausting season.
They are the main actors of the play that is Euro 2016, a play that takes place after its participants featured in 50 or more competitive games this season. Can they tank a few more, in honor of the local French crowd and the billions watching them from behind TV screens? Surely!