With the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament just around the corner, we make our predictions as to who will win it all in France.
Favorites France, (+333), will lose in semi-final
The 2016 UEFA European Championships take place in France from June 10 through to July 10 during which time the eyes of the soccer community will be fixated on television screens around the globe. This is certainly going to be the case if you have bet on what team will win Euro 2016 and return home with the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
Host nation France are the early frontrunners in Euro 2016 betting, currently priced at +333 (100/30) to become champions. The French have a solid record on home soil, having won Euro 1984 and the 1998 World Cup as the host nation, but too much is being read into this.
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While France have one of the easier groups at Euro 2016, pitted against Albania, Romania, and Switzerland, and are likely to face one of the weaker teams in the Round of 16 due to playing the third-place finisher from Group C, D, or E, they could face Spain in the semi-finals, a team who should be too strong for them in most areas of the pitch.
Another reason that France is too short-priced is their lack of a world-class out-and-out goal scorer. With Karim Benzema banished to the sidelines by coach Didier Dechamps, France are reliant on Arsenalâ€™s Olivier Giroud who, despite having scored four goals in his last five internationals, is not a star player. Antoine Griezmann may fit the bill, but his role and form for France is inferior to how he plays for Atletico Madrid.
Prediction: Second favorites Germany, (+400), will win Euro 2016
Germany have drifted to +400 (4/1) in recent weeks, making them second favorites, which seems to be a good price for the reigning world champions. The Germans have a knack for tournament soccer. Do not read too much into the 2-3 home defeat in a friendly against England as Germany were way under par, instead look at the 4-1 demolition of an Italian side that held Spain to a 1-1 draw previously.
The German team has goals and creativity throughout, and nobody is going to want to face them at any stage of the European Championship, but if they do, and they lose to them, they will have lost to the soon-to-be-crowned Euro 2016 champions.
Prediction: Third favorites Spain, (+550), will lose in Euro 2016 final
At +550 (11/2), Spain are third favorites before a ball has been kicked in anger. Spain has an abundance of talent in its midfield, so much so that Manchester Unitedâ€™s Juan Mata was omitted from the final squad. That midfield and defence is vastly experienced, but the four strikers named in the provisional Euro 2016 squad only have 17 caps and two goals between them, which could prove costly when the tournament kicks off.
Spain should progress from Group D with relative ease, although Croatia, Czech Republic, and Turkey are not going to be teams that can easily be brushed aside, and are potential banana skins for Vicente del Bosqueâ€™s men. Expect them to cause trouble for anyone they face, but it seems unlikely that Spain will repeat the heroics of Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 and become the first-ever team to win three consecutive European Championships.
Find out all there is to know about the 2016 Euro Cup, including the full game schedule, standings, up-to-the-minute game betting lines and tips about how to bet on one of the most anticipated sports events of the year.