UEFA Euro 2020: What’s in store?
11 June 2021
Day by day, the Euro 2020 fever is getting higher, the football enthusiasts’ interest is increasing, the stakes are rising, bookmakers are keeping their fingers on the pulse. And it is not surprising, for the upcoming championship promises to be special. Not only will it be a football festivity, but it will also be one of the biggest events in the world of betting in recent years. To seize the moment and take advantage of the hype, it’s important to be aware of the schedule, tournament features, teams-participants, favourites and outsiders, and some useful analytics and insights.
Everything you need to know about the tournament
Euro 2020 is among those championships that felt the pinch from the pandemic. Originally supposed to take place in 2020, it was eventually postponed by one year. Thus, the event is scheduled for June 11 — July 11; below is the Euro 2020 calendar, including all the main stages.
- The first round of the group stage: June 11-15
- The second round of the group stage: June 16-19
- The third round of the group stage: June 20-23
- Round of 16: June 26-29
- Quarter-finals: July 2-3
- Semi-finals: July 6-7
- Finals: July 11
The main feature of this continental event is its geography. The tournament does not have a clearly defined venue. UEFA opted for such an experiment to celebrate the European Championship’s 60th anniversary. Initially, it was planned to hold the tournament in 12 cities. However, later the matches slated for Dublin passed to London and St. Petersburg. Hence, the final match allocation for the eleven stadiums is as follows:
- Group stage, round of 16, semi-finals and final: London
- Group stage and quarter-finals: Baku, Munich, Rome, St. Petersburg
- Group stage and round of 16: Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Seville
Let’s also highlight the important features of the Euro 2020 format.
- The top two teams and third-place teams from each group will qualify for the playoffs.
- In case of an even score, the following factors will be taken into account: face-to-face encounters, best score difference, a higher number of goals scored, number of group stage victories.
- Teams will be allowed to make five substitutions during regular time + an additional one during the overtime.
- In the playoffs, in case of an even score during regular time, overtime will be set. If the overtime doesn’t determine a winner, the teams will make 11-meter kicks.
Participants, favourites and outsiders
Although the 24 strongest European teams qualified for the tournament, some of them are significantly standing out of the crowd.
Experts’ forecasts for Euro 2020 have not changed much over the past year. Analysts and bookmakers point out three main favourites: France, England, and Belgium. The odds provided for them are almost the same — around 6.5-7.0. Many believe that the upcoming Euro will be the Belgian team’s hour of triumph with its whole host of football players at the top of their form.
With its Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002 triumphs, France will go the extra mile to replicate success at Euro 2020. Les Bleus can boast two of the most devastating forwards in Europe — Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema. The only thing that might play against France is that, unlike many of the other big players at Euro 2020, they will not be hosting any games, meaning all of their matches will be played either at neutral or away venues.
Although at the 2018 World Cup, the Three Lions weren’t the team to set hopes on, Gareth Southgate’s guys made it into the semifinals. The main pain point of the team, at that time, was the tender age of the majority of the players. And now, with three-year experience and the rise of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Trent Alexander-Arnold, the squad has grown much stronger. Plus, at Euro 2020, the Three Lions will have an advantage — they will play most of their matches at their home stadium.
We all remember that Belgium claimed third place at the 2018 World Cup. Now, we expect it to reach the same stage at the very least. The Red Devils rank among the best teams in Europe, and there will be no wonder if they go through all the way and win the top award at Euro 2020.
With their creative captain Eden Hazard and a whole squad of skilful defenders, such as Kevin De Bruyne, Toby Alderweireld, and Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen, Belgium has the potential to reach the final stages of the tournament at least. What’s more, its strength is significantly enhanced by top-scorer Romelu Lukaku, striker Dries Mertens, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois
Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands are ranked slightly lower. The second-tier favourites are Italy and Portugal.
As for potential group leaders, the opinions of experts are as follows:
Italy is considered to have a decent chance to be at the top.
Belgium is the undeniable favourite, while Russia and Denmark will fight for second place.
The Netherlands has all the potential to take a leading place.
England is undoubtedly stronger than its competitors. Croatia is the favourite to take second place.
Spain is beyond comparison here.
France has every chance to gain an upper hand. However, if Germany or Portugal takes the lead here, it will not be a sensation.
North Macedonia, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary appear to be on the list of outsiders, they have a very slim chance to achieve prominent results. The odds for their playoff qualifying are above 5.0, on their victory — from 100.0 and more.
Interesting statistics and things to consider
The championship did see sensations, but not frequently. In 20 years, the most sensational result at the tournament in terms of odds was the victory of Iceland over England. The odds for the Vikings reached 9.5. Underdogs with odds higher than 7.5 had never won any match again.
The last three European Championships showed one tendency: the very team that had not lost a single match during the group stage became a champion.
Portugal and France currently lead in the number of reaching the championship playoffs. They have made it to the quarter-finals six times in a row.
Germany and Spain have each won the European Championship three times, more than any other country. They are followed by France with two victories.
During the group stage of the upcoming Euro 2020, most teams will play two or three games at home. It will give home teams a significant advantage.
If you want to put your knowledge about Euro 2020 into effect and look for a place to make successful bets on the championship matches, consider the following top sportsbooks: