Punters Guide to EURO 2016

Posted: June 6, 2016
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The experts at Football Form Labs have every angle of EURO 2016 covered with previews for every group, Outright markets and Top Scorers market available on Betfair’s Hub.

Form Labs will be providing detailed previews of every game, starting with the opener on June 11 right up until the Final on July 11.

Tournament Overview

EURO 2016 will be the first European Championships involving 24 national teams, rising from the 16 that competed in EURO 2012 at Poland and Ukraine.

Spain head to France as champions after they won their third straight major title at EURO 2012.

The host nation will start the tournament as favourites ($4.20) with Germany ($5.70) next as they look to add to their 2014 World Cup triumph.

Five nations will be making their tournament debut at EURO 2016 with Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Wales competing for the very first time.

Tournament History

The European Championships were first held in 1960 with Soviet Union defeating Yugoslavia 2-1 after extra time in the final. That tournament, held in France, was contested between only four nations, with the next four tournaments staying the same until it expanded to eight teams in 1980, finally reaching 16 teams in EURO 1996, hosted in England.

Nine nations have lifted Europe’s biggest continental prize with Germany and defending champions Spain leading the way with three. France is the only other nations with multiple titles with two.

TV Coverage

Bein Sports will broadcast every game live of EURO 2016, starting with the opener between France and Romania on Saturday 11 June at 5am.

Full TV Schedule

The Contenders

France ($4.20) head into their own tournament as favourites ahead of current World Champs Germany. Much of France’s favouritism tag can be put down to home advantage, although a host nation has not won a European Championship since the French managed the feat in 1984. This Les Bleus side is arguably their best in a decade although their habit of self-implosion at major tournaments means one must tread carefully.

Germany ($5.70) just go from strength-to-strength. Somehow looking stronger than the side that lifted the World Cup in Brazil two years ago. Their depth in midfield is easily the strongest in the tournament and the entire squad knows what it takes to perform on the big stage. They are in a very soft group that they are expected to navigate through with little fuss, their path to the final beyond looks tough.

Spain ($6.60) go to France as two-time defending champion, while they are not at their all-conquering form of the early part of the decade, they still can not be discredited. They have found themselves in a very tricky group consisting of Turkey, Croatia and Czech Republic, the only group in the tournament where all four nations have genuine claims of progression.

The Chasing Pack

The inevitable pre-tournament hype surrounding England ($10) actually has some substance to it this time around with Roy Hodgson’s men looking capable of going all the way. Fresh from a break-out EPL campaign, Harry Kane will lead the line for a very youthful Three Lions outfit that will be one of the youngest sides at the tournament.

Belgium’s squad is brimming with star names but are yet to deliver as a group on the big stage. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku at their disposal, Belgium certainly have the talent to go deep in the tournament.

Italy ($19) can never be discredited at a major tournament but an ageing squad and an apparent lack of fire-power upfront has seen them left of the list of major contenders this time around. Midfielder Daniele De Rossi is the only player in the squad with more than four goals at international level and with no Andrea Pirlo to run the show, an early exit is on the card for the Italians.

Portugal ($20) will again rely heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo to drag them as deep into the competition as possible. They do have the benefit of a very soft group but expect the music to stop early for this one-man band.

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