After a year’s delay, the 16th edition of football’s European Championships are set to get underway in June of 2021. Having a major soccer event taking place in any part of the world will always attract attention and bettors in Kenya and beyond will be eyeing up the Euros with great interest.
It always pays to do your own research into football matches and tournaments but we can certainly make a start by seeing what the sportsbooks make of things.
The Bookmakers’ Verdict
As far as the online sports betting sites are concerned, England are the narrow favourites to lift their first major trophy in more than fifty years. Gareth Southgate’s men are listed at an industry best of 11/2 and that puts them just ahead of Belgium in second place.
According to those sportsbooks affiliated to sbo.net, France, Spain and Germany are also likely to make a challenge. Those nations also carry short prices which sbo.net will continue to update as the tournament draws closer. With news updates and opinion pieces, together with a host of offers and promotions, this is a great site to visit if you are looking for bets on the Euros.
A New Format
The European Championships are usually held in either one or two countries but the 2021 edition is breaking with that tradition. This time, the finals will take place in 12 host cities in 12 countries across the continent. England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Ireland, Russia, Denmark, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain and Hungary are the nations providing hosting duties.
Travel restrictions could alter that format but, with the continent starting to open up, UEFA are confident that the plans will be carried out as they stand.
The competition begins on June 11th and the 24 countries that have qualified will initially be split into six groups of four sides. The teams will then play each other once and, at the end of that sequence, the top two countries in each section will automatically progress to the next stage.
The round of 16 will be completed by the four best performing third placed teams and we now move forward to the knockouts. From the round of 16 all the way through to the final, the games will be decided on a straight knockout basis with extra time and penalties in place if they are required. The winner progresses to the next round while the losing side is eliminated.
The final is set to take place on the 11th of July and that gives us a month of world class football to look forward to. For those looking to take a bet, the question is, who will be lifting the trophy?
As any bettor knows, home advantage plays a big part in any football match or tournament. In England, the organisers are aiming to let crowds back into the stadium from the second half of June and that could help the pre-competition favourites.
After playing group matches at their own Wembley Stadium, England may well stay in London moving forward. Both semi finals and the final are scheduled to be played here. We know that Gareth Southgate’s England are a strong side and, after reaching the semi finals of the 2018 World Cup, they look ready for some silverware.
However, home advantage is no guarantee of success and we would be more interested in backing a team who know what it takes to win major silverware. England have that solitary world Cup victory in 1966 while France have won two World Cups and two European Championships since 1984.
For similar reasons, we’re going to overlook Belgium. They may have been ranked as the number one nation by FIFA but their best return in a major competition saw the Belgians land a runners up slot at Euro 1980.
Germany and Spain have also won multiple major tournaments and they shouldn’t be ruled out but the case for France looks to be strong. Many of the side that won the 2018 World Cup in Russia are still involved and, with a talented squad that knows how to win, the French are going to offer a strong challenge at Euro 2021.