Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
A year later than initially planned, the continent’s finest teams will battle it out for the right to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy this summer in the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship.
The competition, in its 16th iteration, is a more exciting pan-continental affair this year, and 12 hosts countries will stage the tournament’s group game and knockout round action between June and July.
With less than three months to kick-off, we’ve taken an early look at some Euro 2020 outright predictions and betting tips below.
Can favourites England win the Euros for the first time in their history? Or will current champions Portugal successfully defend their trophy? Read on for our early Euro 2020 outright predictions.
Euro 2020 favourites
England – 5/1
Notorious big-tournament underperformers England are again tipped for big things by the bookmakers, though to us at least, their tag as joint 5/1 favourites looks a little undeserved.
The Three Lions blitzed their way through an easy qualification group, scoring an impressive 37 goals in eight matches, though old habits resurfaced in the Nations League when defeats to Denmark and Belgium resulted in early elimination.
The closest England have ever come to success in the European Championship was a surge to the semi-finals in the tournament they hosted back in 1996, though their tale has been one of unfulfilled potential since.
At 5/1, England look a very short price for a team that hasn’t really looked like achieving anything for all the talent at their disposal, and we expect Gareth Southgate’s side to fall short again in 2021.
France – 5/1
France were beaten finalists in Euro 2016 when they were edged out by Portugal in the Paris final, though their disappointment drove them on to success two years later at World Cup 2018, and Les Blues look strong enough to mount a challenge for more silverware this summer.
Didier Deschamps has a rich, deep pool of talent to fill his roster from, and in Kylian Mbappe, France will wield arguably the tournament’s best player in 2021.
France are prone to taking their eye off the ball in easier fixtures, though no team has enjoyed better big-game results in recent years, and Les Blues have beaten the likes of Portugal, Croatia, Netherlands and Germany since their World Cup triumph.
Portugal – 9/1
The bookmakers have current champions Portugal as low as sixth favourite to reclaim their trophy as Euro 2020, though the high-class outfit, still led by 2016 winner Fernando Santos, look a generous price to succeed at 9/1.
While Cristiano Ronaldo is still the squad’s star attraction, Portugal’s reliance on their all-time leading scorer and talisman has lessened over the past year, and a new collection of prominent stars have emerged.
In Man City pair Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo, Portugal have some world-class operators in defence, while their midfield options, which include Premier League stars Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Ruben Neves, is a match for anyone else’s.
Most crucially, Portugal finally have a collection of attackers ready to shoulder some of Ronaldo’s goal-scoring responsibilities, with talented technicians Andre Silva, Diogo Jota, Pedro Neto and Joao Felix all vying for places.
Dark horse worth watching
Austria – 100/1
Austria will share a group with Netherlands, Ukraine and North Macedonia in the summer, and they are capable of ploughing though that field of competition towards the tournament’s knockout stage.
Coach Franco Foda has overseen a changing of the guard since his appointment in 2018, and the injection of talented youngsters into the Austrian ranks has had a transformative effect on their results.
Austria have lost just twice in their last 18 matches since June 2018, and in Hoffenheim’s Christoph Baumgartner, Wolfsburg’s Xaver Schlager, Stuttgart hotshot Sasa Kalajdzic and RB Leipzig pair Marcel Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer, they have some exciting options in the middle and final thirds.
In Aleksandar Dragović, David Alaba and Marko Arnautović, Austria have a strong, more senior spine to build their team around, and the blend of youth and experience in their ranks makes them a hugely interesting prospect this summer.
Euro 2020 outright odds
- England – 5/1
- France – 5/1
- Belgium – 11/2
- Spain – 7/1
- Germany – 15/2
- Portugal – 9/1
- Italy – 10/1
- Netherlands – 11/1
- Croatia – 25/1
- Denmark – 50/1
- Turkey – 50/1
- Poland – 50/1
- Switzerland – 66/1
- Ukraine – 80/1
- Russia – 100/1
- Austria – 100/1
- Sweden – 100/1
- Czech Republic – 150/1
- Wales – 150/1
- Scotland – 200/1
- Slovakia – 250/1
- Hungary – 250/1
- Finland – 500/1
- North Macedonia – 500/1
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