Euro unfurls, heralds new era in world sport | Sunday Observer

Euro unfurls, heralds new era in world sport

12 June, 2021
Flashback 2016: Champions Portugal celebrate winning the Euro Cup
Flashback 2016: Champions Portugal celebrate winning the Euro Cup

Yes, it’s the summer of 2021, but with last year’s European championships postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, UEFA decided to keep the 2020 label on the tournament.

The Euros officially began on June 11 and there will be myriad ways to bet on the tournament. In the days leading up to the tournament we’re going to be taking a look at futures and props that BetMGM is offering on the month long event. And as the tournament happens we’ll give you betting previews for all the games that you should wager on.

We start our series on a simple note: A look at the odds of each country to win the tournament. Odds below are provided by BetMGM.

The favorites: France, +450, England, +500, Belgium, +650, Germany, +700

The four tournament favorites are no surprise. France returns much of the squad that won the 2018 World Cup along with star Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. He’s back with the team for the first time since his alleged involvement in an extortion plot against a French teammate. Benzema’s trial is set for October.

England is right behind France because of the optimism that surrounds the team. England’s forward lineup is stacked but there are some questions in defense and how coach Gareth Southgate will line the team up defensively. An England win in the Euros would be the the men’s first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Belgium is the No. 1 team in the world according to FIFA’s rankings but now face the potential absence of midfielder Kevin De Bruyne for at least the start of the tournament. The Manchester City star suffered a facial injury during the Champions League final.

Germany, meanwhile, is bringing back a lot of its established stars for coach Joachim Low’s final tournament. The team will have Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels along with stalwart goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as it tries to make up for its 2018 World Cup flameout.

The Italians were one of the best teams in Euro qualifying. Granted, a group of Finland, Greece, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Armenia and Liechtenstein isn’t the toughest around but the Italians went 10-0 against their opponents and outscored those teams 37-4. Will that goal-scoring prowess continue against tougher competition? Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne will be counted on to provide the team’s scoring punch. Let’s start with the defending European champions. Portugal could easily survive and advance its way to another final on the back of a steady defense and Cristiano Ronaldo. But Ronaldo wasn’t the Ronaldo we’re used to seeing this year with Juventus and the Italian giants almost missed out on qualifying for next season’s Champions League. We’d like Portugal with higher odds. But +800 is too low to bet, especially given that the Portuguese are in the same group as both France and Germany.

The Spain squad is nearly unrecognizable from the teams we’ve seen at recent major tournaments. There wasn’t one Real Madrid player picked for the team in an unprecedented move — though there wasn’t much to choose from at Real given Sergio Ramos’ injuries this past season. Spain has a pretty manageable group for the opening round, but it’s hard to see how this iteration of the national team will make it to the final four.

Croatia is still based around 35-year-old Luka Modric in what could be his final major tournament. He’s one of just six players who remain from the team that made the 2018 World Cup final. That turnover and a group that also includes England is why Croatia’s odds are so high. But there are far worse options for you to bet if you’re wanting to take a flier on anyone outside of the top six teams. (yahoo sports)