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One year after we were expecting it, Euro 2020 is finally here! A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that the tournament can take place as close as possible to how it was initially imagined with matches taking place across Europe.
England fans are particularly excited about the prospect of seeing their team play on home soil with all of their group matches taking place at Wembley Stadium. This has to rank as one of the most talented England squads ever to compete in a European Championships but Gareth Southgate’s men still have some questions to answer and a host of top class competitors at the top of the Euro 2020 betting market.
France 5/1 (Paddy Power)
England 5/1 (bet365)
Belgium 6/1 (888sport)
Germany 8/1 (Coral)
Spain 8/1 (Betfred)
Portugal 9/1 (Betfred)
Italy 9/1 (Ladbrokes)
(Please note all odds are correct at time of article publishing)
The bookies are finding it difficult to separate England and France right at the top of the Euro 2020 outright betting. When you look at the quality that the two teams both have in attacking positions and in midfield it is understandable why they would be locked together as favourites. However, even a cursory examination of the two defences suggests that France have the stronger chance.
Ahead of England’s opening match against Croatia, Gareth Southgate is yet to decide whether to play two or three centre-backs, let alone who to replace Harry Maguire with. The Manchester United captain is England’s best central defender by some distance and while John Stones is sure to start, there are major doubts about Tyrone Mings’ quality at this level, Conor Coady’s ability to play in a back two and whether Ben White can be trusted to start having made just two friendly appearances for England.
France, by contrast, have so much quality in defence that Aymeric Laporte could not get into the squad and chose to change his international allegiance to Spain. If you were being picky, you could suggest that Raphael Varane hasn’t had the best season for Real Madrid and that Didier Deschamps is yet to settle on a first-choice partner for him but there is no getting away from the simple fact that France have an incredible array of defensive quality.
Add that to a forward line that will likely be led by Karim Benzema with Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezman, Kingsley Coman and Ousmane Dembele just three of the options to play alongside him and you see why France should be considered favourites and are therefore tempting at 5/1 with Paddy Power.
Of course, anything can happen at a major international tournament so it is often worth having more than one option in the betting. In that regard, defending champions Portugal are well priced at 9/1 with Betfred.
The fact that Portugal won just one match inside 90 minutes en route to their victory at Euro 2016 is often held up to suggest that they were in some way undeserving champions. A different way of reading that stat is that Portugal knew how to get over the line and win. Five years more football will make it harder for the likes of Jose Fonte, Pepe and even Cristiano Ronaldo to replicate their heroics in France but Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix and Bernado Silva are at least as good as the players they have replaced from the Euro 2016 squad and can certainly be put into the bracket of winners so underestimate Portugal at your peril.
Harry Kane 11/2 (Ladbrokes)
Romelu Lukaku 7/1 (bet365)
Kylian Mbappe 8/1 (Coral)
Cristiano Ronaldo 12/1 (Paddy Power)
Karim Benzema 16/1 (Betfred)
Memphis Depay 16/1 (888sport)
Ciro Immobile 20/1 (bet365)
Robert Lewandowski 25/1 (Ladbrokes)
Gareth Southgate may have decisions to make in several different positions but the England manager has no such headache when it comes to his starting striker. Harry Kane felt that Tottenham were poor enough this season that he has to leave the club to win silverware and yet he was still good enough to finish as the top scorer and top assists provider in the Premier League.
You can make a very strong case for Kane being the best forward at Euro 2020 and with England expected to make it through to the latter stages, his favouritism in the Top Goalscorer market is more than just the result of lots of patriotic bets but is he just a bit too short at 5/1?
One highly fancied team that we are yet to mention is Belgium. Roberto Martinez is incredibly fortunate to be in charge of this ‘golden generation’ of Belgian talent which includes their attacking focal point, Romelu Lukaku. His goals and performances were vital in Inter Milan winning the Scudetto but are Belgium just a bit too vulnerable in defence to give Lukaku the games he needs to win the Golden Boot?
Karim Benzema could be the value option in this market at 16/1 with Betfred. He has been welcomed back into the fold with France having previously been ostracised for his part in the blackmailing of former French teammate Matthieu Valbuena and after another stellar season for Real Madrid he could be the man to fire France to glory.
England 2/5 (bet365)
Croatia 3/1 (Betfred)
Czech Republic 12/1 (bet365)
Scotland 16/1 (888sport)
With their first match of Euro 2020 coming against Croatia, England have no time to warm to their task. Southgate’s men were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup by their opponents in the opener and were more than a little fortunate to beat Croatia 2-1 when they last met in the UEFA Nations League.
A fired-up Scotland and a dangerous Czech Republic will also make England work for every point in Group D so this may not be the walk in the park that some fans expect or that the bookies’ odds suggest. There is next to no chance of England failing to qualify for the knockout stages and they should win Group D but there is little to like about a price of 2/5 to do so.
Instead, consider backing England to win exactly seven points in Group D at 9/4 with bet365. Any of the three sides can put a dent in England’s ambitions on a given day and while the Three Lions have the benefit of home advantage, they don’t look like hitting the ground running fast enough to win all three matches.
France to Win Euro 2020 at 5/1 with Paddy Power
Portugal to Win Euro 2020 at 9/1 with Betfred
Karim Benzema to Win the Golden Boot at 16/1 with Betfred
England to Win Seven Points in Group D at 9/4 with bet365